Malware That Can Compromise Any USB Device is Now on the Loose

The malware -- called BadUSB -- doesn't attack devices' memories, but rather takes advantage of a fundamental structural flaw in how they operate. Everything from USB keyboards to iPad chargers are susceptible.

Remember a few months ago when we talked about how USB had been irreparably compromised? Well, according to Wired's Andy Greenberg, the BadUSB malware capable of corrupting any USB gadget is now on the loose, released by security researchers who helped to develop it. The hope now is that having BadUSB on the loose will now force tech developers to come up with a solution.

If you're not familiar with earlier incarnations of this story, over the past year a group of researchers at SR Labs discovered an intrinsic flaw in USB design and developed malware to exploit it. The flaw applies to every single USB device: iPhone chargers, wireless keyboards, thumbdrives, external hard drives, etc. Basically -- if it connects via a USB drive, it's susceptible to malware that can eventually take control of your systems. Karsten Nohl, one of the researchers who developed BadUSB (though not the person to have released it), calls the malware "unpatchable," though that's stopping others from trying to find a cure.

Read Greenberg's piece (linked below) to learn more about how BadUSB works and what tech professionals are doing about it.

Read more at Wired

Photo credit: Marynchenko Oleksandr / Shutterstock

American education: It’s colleges, not college students, that are failing

Who is to blame for the U.S.'s dismal college graduation rate? "Radical" educator Dennis Littky has a hunch.

Percentage of college student dropouts by age at enrollment: 2-year and 4-year institutions

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • COVID-19 has magnified the challenges that underserved communities face with regard to higher education, such as widening social inequality and sky-high tuition.
  • At College Unbound, where I am president, we get to know students individually to understand what motivates them, so they can build a curriculum based on goals they want to achieve.
  • My teaching mantra: Everything is permitted during COVID-19. Everything is permitted during COVID-19. Everything is permitted during COVID-19.
Keep reading Show less

The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle may finally be solved

Meteorologists propose a stunning new explanation for the mysterious events in the Bermuda Triangle.

Surprising Science

One of life's great mysteries, the Bermuda Triangle might have finally found an explanation. This strange region, that lies in the North Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, has been the presumed cause of dozens and dozens of mind-boggling disappearances of ships and planes.

Keep reading Show less

STARTS 11 AM ET | The 'Great Midlife Edit': How to master your middle years

Did you know that shifting to a positive perspective on aging can add 7.5 years to your life? Or that there is a provable U-curve of happiness that shows people get happier after age 50?

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

Keep reading Show less

These countries are leading the transition to sustainable energy

Sweden tops the ranking for the third year in a row.

Technology & Innovation

What does COVID-19 mean for the energy transition? While lockdowns have caused a temporary fall in CO2 emissions, the pandemic risks derailing recent progress in addressing the world's energy challenges.

Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…