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๐Ÿ“š Explosives Replace Malware As the Scariest Thing a USB Stick May Hide


๐Ÿ’ก Newskategorie: IT Security Nachrichten
๐Ÿ”— Quelle: it.slashdot.org

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: As reported by the Agence France-Presse (via CBS News) on Tuesday, five Ecuadorian journalists have received USB drives in the mail from Quinsaloma. Each of the USB sticks was meant to explode when activated. Upon receiving the drive, Lenin Artieda of the Ecuavisa TV station in Guayaquil inserted it into his computer, at which point it exploded. According to a police official who spoke with AFP, the journalist suffered mild hand and face injuries, and no one else was harmed. According to police official Xavier Chango, the flash drive that went off had a 5-volt explosive charge and is thought to have used RDX. Also known as T4, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (PDF), militaries, including the US's, use RDX, which "can be used alone as a base charge for detonators or mixed with other explosives, such as TNT." Chango said it comes in capsules measuring about 1 cm, but only half of it was activated in the drive that Artieda plugged in, which likely saved him some harm. On Monday, Fundamedios, an Ecuadorian nonprofit focused on media rights, put out a statement on the incidents, which saw letters accompanied by USB-stick bombs sent to two more journalists in Guayaquil and two journalists in Ecuador's capital. Fundamedios said Alvaro Rosero, who works at the EXA FM radio station, also received an envelope with a flash drive on March 15. He gave it to a producer, who used a cable with an adapter to connect it to a computer. The radio station got lucky, though, as the flash drive didn't explode. Police determined that the drive featured explosives but believe it didn't explode because the adapter the producer used didn't have enough juice to activate it, Fundamedios said. Yet another reporter attempted to access the drive's unknown content. Milton Perez at Teleamazonas' Quito offices might have set off the USB stick's explosives if he had plugged it into the computer properly, according to Fundamedios. Police intercepted a fourth drive sent to Carlos Vera in Guayaquil and performed a "controlled detonation" on one sent to Mauricio Ayora at TC Television, also in Guayaquil, BBC reported. It's unclear what the motive is behind the exploding drives. Ecuador Interior Minister Juana Zapata confirmed that all five cases used the same type of USB device and said the incidents send "an absolutely clear message to silence journalists," per AFP. In a statement cited by BBC, the Ecuadorian government said, "Any attempt to intimidate journalism and freedom of expression is a loathsome action that should be punished with all the rigor of justice."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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