Imagine a thief in the metro having unwittingly seized your USB key in your pocket. Once back home, he is probably curious about the storage capacity of his new key and maybe to find some interesting content there. The thief inserts the USB drive into his computer and instead of discovering all the private data it contains, his computer explodes in his face.
Perfect scenario for a film, isn't it? Well know that a Russian hacker calling himself Dark Purple would have developed a USB key which once connected to a computer would be able to burn out its circuits.
Called USB Killer, this key would contain a DC / DC converter accompanied by several capacitors which, once charged, would return the accumulated energy to the machine to be recharged again, until the computer eventually exploded. The USB Killer would be capable of generating very significant voltage surges, causing irreparable damage to PCs.
The designer of the USB Killer has widely unveiled its "product" on the internet by providing photos, diagrams, lists of components, etc.
The USB Killer could become a new form of attack in the future, as the Hackaday site, specializing in hacking, specifies: “The USB interface is generally integrated into the processor in most modern laptops, it is which makes this attack very effective. "
Finally, I advise you to never use a USB stick of unknown origin : While this will not surely burn your computer, it could still contain malware and infect your PC.