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A former student at a $32,000-a-year private New York college pleaded guilty this week to destroying 66 computers on its campus.
Overseas student Vishwanath Akuthota, 27, graduated from The College of Saint Rose in Albany with an MBA in 2017, but for reasons still unknown returned to its campus in February 2019 armed with a "USB killer" stick that he proceeded to jam into every computer he could find, destroying them in the process.
Device - Akuthota - Online - Possession - Week
The device, which Akuthota purchased online and which was found in his possession when he was arrested a week later in North Carolina, is designed to look like a USB storage device but when inserted into a USB port rapidly charges on-board capacitors and discharges them into the host system's electronics several times per second. The end result is that the computer's USB interface and motherboard chips are destroyed.
The gizmo is readily available on the internet, and costs about $60. It is a perfectly legal device, having been approved by both CE and the FCC for testing surge protection circuitry, but it is clearly advertised as a way to instantly kill people's computers.
Case - Akuthota - American - College - Security
In this case, Akuthota was captured on the American college's security cameras walking into several locations on the campus and inserting the device into 59 Microsoft Windows-powered machines, seven Apple iMacs, and "numerous" smart displays. He even found USB ports on some digital podiums and inserted...
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