If you’re looking to ruin a computer, there are many ways to go about doing it. There is your traditional fare such as malware, but in the case of 27-year old (former) student Vishwanath Akuthota of The College of St. Rose in Albany, New York, it seems that he opted for less conventional means.
According to the US Department of Justice, Akuthota decided to go about destroying the computer equipment at his school using what is known as a USB killer device. This device, for those unfamiliar, looks like a regular USB flash drive, except that it has the ability to draw power from the USB power lines in the computer until it reaches 240V, after which it will discharge all that power multiple times until the entire system is quite literally fried.
For whatever reason, Akuthota decided to record himself doing the deed in which it results in 66 computers being destroyed. He also recorded himself saying at one point, “It’s dead,” and another time saying, “It’s gone. Boom.” If found guilty, he could face up 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced on the 12th of August, 2019.
In the meantime, while USB killer devices sound rather malicious, the company that makes them claims that the intention of them is to test USB ports against power surge attacks, although as evidenced in this case, it can also be used maliciously.