You Can Now Buy a USB Stick That Destroys Any Computer

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The gadget will "instantly and permanently disable" any device it plugs into, says the manufacturer.

As if hackers, state-sponsored cyber intruders and rogue insiders weren’t enough to protect against for federal agencies, you can now purchase a USB stick that will destroy any unprotected device it plugs into.

Called USB Kill and about the size of a ticket stub, the device “rapidly charges its capacitors from the USB power line,” and then discharges that power all at once to “instantly and permanently disable unprotected hardware,” according to the Hong Kong-based manufacturer.

They are available for the equivalent of $56, although the manufacturer is already “temporarily out of stock,” meaning penetration testers and hackers—and people who genuinely like to break stuff—are picking them up like hotcakes. You can also purchase a Test Shield product that allows for testing the device without ruining your own hardware.

I’m sure IT security offices across government can’t wait to deal with these new toys.