US: Indian Student arrested for using ‘Killer USB device’ to destroy over 50 computers

New York: An Indian student in New York has been arrested for causing intentional damage to over 50 protected computers owned by a college in New York’s state capital Albany by inserting a USB device, sources said.

The student identified as Vishwanath Akuthota, 26 residing in the US on a student visa was arrested on February 22 in North Carolina after the State police charged him with intentionally causing damage to protected computers owned by The College of Saint Rose in Albany, US Attorney Grant Jaquith said, PTI reports.

The Attorney added according to the criminal complaint against Akuthota, Akuthota had entered numerous locations around the Saint Rose campus and inserted a device which resembles a normal USB device into more than 50 computers used by students.

The device had then sent a rapid series of power surges into a computer’s electrical hardware making it inoperable. The damage exceeds USD 50,000.

Akuthota was produced in the federal court in Raleigh, North Carolina, where a US Magistrate Judge ordered him detained and transported to the Northern District of New York.

According to sources, the charge filed against Akuthota carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to USD 250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years.