B5 Systems

USB Condoms

Our friends at WNDSN Expedition Team have another tip for you.

On the topic of so-called USB condoms, USB thumb drive-sized devices that are designed to protect the user from malicious data traffic in and out of the device when hooking up to public or unknown USB charging outlets. They work by physically removing the ability to transfer data, and are thus quite safe in that regard. Something else that is interesting when dealing with unknown power sources, or sometimes with sketchy cables is charging speed, and actual throughput (which is often quite fragile, especially with high-powered cellphones), as well as remaining power in power banks. To combine the two functions, with the latter being surprisingly more often needed than the former, I got a USB power monitor, one from PortaPow, the other one from Drok, both of which are about the size of a thumb drive providing several measurements of electricity plus the ability to only allow power, and no data exchange. Don’t travel or commute without.


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2 Responses to “USB Condoms”

  1. minn-kota says:

    I’ve always told those that would listen to bring their own cube, or in my case a power strip, that has USB outlets on it for trade shows and conventions. Can you imagine a better spot for intelligence gathering than compromised “convenient USB outlet” in your hotel suite at any number of major defense gatherings?

  2. George Oulis says:

    Not the most high-speed, low-drag piece of gear I’ve ever wanted after seeing on this page but boy will this be useful. This is why I come here every day. Useful information