A self-destructing storage device that vaporizes its contents at the initial signal of problems would be an a must have resource for several men and women, but very good luck receiving your arms on such a factor if you don’t function for a a few-letter company. Or at minimum, which is what we would have claimed just before [Walker] bought on the circumstance. He’s operating on an open up source self-destructing USB flash drive for journalists, safety researchers, whistleblowers, or any person else who actually values their privateness.
When we earlier lined this project in July, [Walker] had only prepared to make the flash drive conceal its contents except you understood to wet your fingers right before plugging it in. We acknowledge it seems a tiny bizarre, but as far as clandestine approaches of activating a little something goes, it is fairly clever. But centered on the opinions he gained, he decided to go all-in and make the USB generate practically trash by itself ought to it be accessed by anyone who doesn’t know the mystery.
But how exactly do you pull that off? Certain we’d like to see a small thermite charge or vial of acid packed in there, but certainly which is not very sensible. It desires to be safe and sound to have close to, and just as importantly, unlikely to get you into even extra trouble with whoever is hunting through your belongings. To that close, [Walker] thinks he’s appear up with an elegant solution.
The datasheet for his flash memory chip suggests the highest voltage it can handle prior to releasing the Magic Smoke is a meager 4.6 V. So he figures operating a voltage doubler on the nominal 5 V coming from a USB port ought to disable the chip properly with a least of exterior drama. Will it be enough to stop the data from getting recovered forensically? We never know, but we’re eager to locate out.
In the produce-up, [Walker] will take viewers as a result of the circuit types he’s appear up so much, and exhibits off the source code that will operate on the ATtiny25 to decide when it’s time to toast the flash. He suggests by the upcoming write-up he should really have the overall flash push constructed and documented, so stay tuned.