Heart of Texas Network Consultants Blog

USB PC Killer Terrorizes Private College

USB PC Killer Terrorizes Private College

Network security is a priority for modern organizations of all kinds… after all, threats don’t often discriminate between the computer networks that they try to access. One kind of organization that should be especially diligent is the modern college or university. There are many different kinds of sensitive data stored there, including the personal, medical, and financial trifecta, along with intellectual property.

Unfortunately, sometimes diligence isn’t enough, as exemplified by recent events at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. The capital-based college was struck in early April 2019 by a rash of computer vandalism. Vishwanath Akuthota, a postgraduate alum, pled guilty to charges of using a device known as a USB Killer to permanently disable 59 Windows campus computers, as well as seven Apple computers. This act ultimately cost the college a total of $58,371 to replace these devices.

Akuthota, an Indian national in the United States on a student visa, used his iPhone to film himself using USB Killer to destroy the computers. As a result, he faces a $250,000 fine and ten years in prison.

Understanding USB Killer

USB Killer is a specially made thumb drive that draws power from the USB port, charging a capacitor within the device, then releasing that power back into the USB port. This overloads the components, burning them out and breaking the machine. The USB Killer is freely available online, apparently intended to be used as a surge protection test.

Where Your Biggest Risk Lies

Naturally, no business looks to have this kind of catastrophe happen. Unfortunately, USB Killer is particularly difficult to resist - but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do to help prevent the various kinds of employee-related security breaches. An independent study revealed that, in 2018, over two-thirds of data breaches were the result of an employee’s actions - whether they were negligent in their duties, were directly responsible for the data theft, or actively sabotaged the company.

That’s right - your employees are the ones who are most likely to put your business at risk. Now, this is not to say that your employees are actively working against you - only a quarter of data breaches were caused by the actions of employees, either current or former - but you still need to keep your network and infrastructure protected against the kinds of situations that could put your data at risk through the actions of your team.

How to Keep Your IT Protected from Your Staff’s Actions

The best way to approach these kinds of issues is to identify and mitigate them before they have an effect. This will require a two-fold approach: for your staff to be properly trained, and for you to have the tools necessary to monitor your business’ technology.

This is to help cover all of your bases. The better your staff is trained, the more prepared they will be to properly utilize the solutions you provide them with, making fewer and less severe errors as a result. However, the better your staff is trained, the more willing they will likely be to take liberties with these systems - liberties that they wouldn’t have otherwise. A comprehensive monitoring strategy will help you to keep your business, its infrastructure, and its data safe and productive.

To learn more about protecting your business through proper staff training and security solutions, reach out to the team at Heart of Texas Network Consultants by calling (254) 848-7100.

Tip of the Week: Rely Less on Your Printer
None of VoIP’s Issues Are Enough to Prevent You fr...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Thursday, May 23 2019

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Microsoft Office Applications Technology Update Best Practices Two-factor Authentication USB Business Money Security Search Information IT Services Router Data Recovery Collaboration PowerPoint Passwords Bandwidth Information Technology Social Encryption Upgrade Computers Office Hard Drives Risk Management App Smartphones Hardware Windows 8 Server Unsupported Software Outsourced IT User Tips Productivity Education Google Wireless Phone System Wi-Fi IT Support Avoiding Downtime Data Cybercrime communications Vendor Management Hackers Browser Big Data Users Apps Office Tips Humor Tip of the Week Automation Spam Printer Shortcut BYOD Mobile Devices IT Support Networking Miscellaneous Mobility Malware Proactive IT Vulnerability Business Management Operating System Cloud Computing Office 365 Cloud Communication Computer Disaster Recovery Cybersecurity Bring Your Own Device Ransomware Employer-Employee Relationship Small Business Google Drive Windows 10 Remote Computing Best Practice Network Security Application Artificial Intelligence Audit Innovation Government Password Law Enforcement Gmail Hacking Data Backup Antivirus Productivity Chrome Customer Relationship Management Saving Money Social Media Internet Hosted Solutions VoIP Holiday BDR Email Windows 10 Android User Error Wireless Technology Travel Identity Theft iPhone Health Mobile Device Management Going Green Tech Support WiFi Cost Management Tablet Smartphone History Microsoft Mobile Office Phishing The Internet of Things Data Management Maintenance Virtualization Lithium-ion battery Managed IT Services Privacy Efficiency Backup Software Business Computing Mobile Computing Unified Threat Management Tech Term Internet of Things Save Money Telephone Systems Quick Tips Current Events Managed Service Provider Laptop Business Continuity Gadgets OneNote Network Facebook Windows Net Neutrality Workplace Tips Marketing Alert Managed IT Services Data Security