Recently, 27-year old Vishwanath Akuthota, pled guilty to causing damage to computers on the campus of The College of St. Rose located in Albany, New York.
Akuthota, an alumnus, damaged the computers using the “USB Killer.” The USB Killer is an electronic device that when inserted into a USB port, sends commands to the capacitors on the machine causing them to charge and discharge, overloading and ultimately destroying the USB ports. How many computers were damaged? Akuthota managed to plug this device into sixty-six computer systems, along with many other devices.
How exactly was he caught? Through stupidity.
Evidence was obtained from his cell phone that included videos he recorded of himself plugging the USB Killer device into the computers. A quote taken directly from Akuthota’s Plea Agreement states:
“On February 14, 2019, the defendant, using his person iPhone, recorded himself inserting the ‘USB Killer’ device into computers and other hardware owned by the College, and making statements including ‘I’m going to kill this guy’ then inserting the ‘USB Killer’ device into a USB port, and – after destroying the host device – stating ‘it’s dead’ and in another instance, ‘it’s gone. Boom.’”
Akuthota has agreed to pay for the damage to the electronics, which amounted to $58,471. He is set to be sentenced later this summer and faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology