An Indian national has pleaded guilty of destroying 59 computers at a New York college using a USB drive called USB Killer, which is easily available online and is listed on Amazon for purchase. Vishwanath Akuthota, a 27-year old student, used the USB Killer drive to damage equipment worth $51,109, (roughly ₹35,46,700) as well $7,362 (roughly ₹5,10,900) in employee time for investigating and replacing damaged hardware. The student has agreed to pay the money and has also been sentenced to 10 years of prison.
The issue was first reported by ZDNet and according to the court documents obtained by the publication, it seems the incident took place on February 14. Akuthota reportedly filmed himself while committing the crime. In the recording, he was seen saying “I’m going to kill this guy,” and once he was done with the process, he was seen saying things like, “it’s dead” and “it’s gone. Boom.” The reason behind the crime is not known as of now.
The thumb drive that Akuthota used is easily available on the internet and is also used for legal functions. The device works by rapidly charging the thumb drive and then discharging all of the current back into the USB slot, effectively frying the internals of the computer the device is attached to. Akuthota is reported to have damaged 59 computers, seven computer monitors, and computer-enhanced podiums that had open USB slots. All of this equipment was owned by the College of St. Rose, in New York.
According to the report, Akuthota faces 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 (roughly ₹17,349,100), and a term of post-imprisonment supervised the release of up to 3 years.
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