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

Should you defend the free speech rights of neo-Nazis?

Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
  • In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less

Harness the Power of Calm

Tap into the "Rest and Digest" System to Achieve Your Goals

Big Think Edge
  • In the fast-paced workplaces and productivity-focused societies many of us inhabit today, it is easy to burnout.
  • Emma Seppälä, a Stanford researcher on human happiness, recommends tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system instead—"rest and digest"rather than "fight or flight."
  • Aiming for energy management rather than time management will give you the resilience you need to excel at the things that really matter in your life and career, rather than living "mostly off" by attempting to seem "always on."

Apple co-founder says we should all ditch Facebook — permanently

Steve Wozniak doesn't know if his phone is listening, but he's minimizing risks.

Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • Steve Wozniak didn't hold back his feelings about the social media giant when stopped at an airport.
  • The Apple co-founder admitted that devices spying on his conversations is worrisome.
  • Wozniak deleted his Facebook account last year, recommending that "most people" should do the same.
Keep reading Show less

Where the evidence of fake news is really hiding

When it comes to sniffing out whether a source is credible or not, even journalists can sometimes take the wrong approach.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • We all think that we're competent consumers of news media, but the research shows that even journalists struggle with identifying fact from fiction.
  • When judging whether a piece of media is true or not, most of us focus too much on the source itself. Knowledge has a context, and it's important to look at that context when trying to validate a source.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less