USB Stick Bombs Mailed to Ecuadorian Journalists

Everyone is aware of that you just’re not alleged to plug a random USB stick into your pc. Worst case situation, you’re sometimes a desktop filled with malware. Nonetheless, it now seems that somebody has give you a a lot worse factor to load USBs with than malicious software program: bombs.

A number of information shops are reporting that USB sticks rigged with explosives have been mailed to journalists all through Ecuador. The little clandestine incendiaries have been despatched to not less than 5 totally different newsrooms, typically accompanied by threatening notes. Authorities say the drives are designed to blow up when a consumer plugs them into their pc.

To this point, just one journalist has been injured because of the marketing campaign. Broadcast information reporter Lenin Artieda, who works for a TV station within the metropolis of Guayaquil, is claimed to have plugged the drive into his pc, inflicting it to blow up. He subsequently suffered “gentle hand and face accidents” however was not significantly wounded by the blast, France24 reports.

Within the handful of different instances, journalists both opted to not plug within the drive, plugged it in incorrectly, or another form of {hardware} difficulty seems to have stopped the explosives from igniting, Ars Technica reports. The outlet additionally notes that the USB sticks have been rigged with RDX, the chemical agent generally used in C-4 and different plastic explosives.

It’s unclear who’s behind the malicious marketing campaign, although the Ecuadorian authorities has publicly condemned the incidents—releasing a press release that claims it “categorically rejects any type of violence perpetrated in opposition to journalists and media shops.” Fundamedios, an Ecuadorian group devoted to defending press freedoms, has additionally issued a statement condemning the assaults and demanding that the federal government examine the supply of the bombs.

Traditionally talking, USB drives have been a devious vector for malware distribution. A variety of well-known incidents (together with, allegedly, one involving the Pentagon) are reputed to have began with somebody selecting up a USB stick in a parking zone and making the genius resolution to plug it into their work pc. That stated, there’s a fairly clear distinction between blowing up a tough drive and blowing up an precise particular person. Briefly, I hope they catch whoever did this, although it’s only one extra reminder to abide by that oldest pearl of digital knowledge: should you don’t know the place that drive got here from, don’t plug it in.

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