Perhaps the most iconic scene from every spy movie is the use of a magic gadget that allows the hero to hack into the villain’s computer. Fancy and fictional stuff, right? Wrong! Say hello to Samy Kamkar who is the master behind projects such as conquering MySpace that happened back in 2006 and SkyJack, a drone that is capable of hijacking other drones. He has recently released a video that shows a ‘necklace’ capable of pulling some really nifty and horrifying feats.
It is called USBdriveby and is basically a USB-powered microcontroller affixed onto a chain. It has been modified so that it is capable of taking advantage of security flaws in your computer’s USB ports and all that it requires are about 60 seconds to infect your computer.
What does it do? Let’s take a look;
- The process begins by it pretending to be a mouse/keyboard.
- It makes use of a number of keystrokes to satisfy your network monitor app and basically convinces it that everything is ok.
- The next step is disabling the OS X’s firewall.
- It will alter your DNS settings next and change them to impart control to the hacker, thus allowing them to change any website you wish to visit with the website of their choice.
- It creates an outbound connection by opening up a backdoor to a remote server, allowing the computer to receive remote commands.
- Any windows and settings screens that have been opened up are closed and footprints are swept up while it leaves.
So, basically, in under a minute this gadget is capable of hijacking your computer, disabling a number of security layers while doing so and cleaning up its mess as well. It leaves the computer with an open connection for all sorts of remote manipulation even after it has been removed from the USB port.
Although the video talks about OS X only, Kamkar has stated that the process is quite ‘easily extendable to Windows or linux’. The frightful fact? There’s isn’t much you can do to protect yourself from such attacks except for guarding your USB ports.