Meet the USG, a Dongle That Protects Your USB Ports
Most computer users will have some form of firewall protection on their computer in case something unpleasant comes over the Internet and tries to infect your computer. However, sticking just any old thumb drive into your computer or tablet also can cause a serious malware infection, in some cases an even worse one than you would get from downloading a bad file off a dodgy site.
Enter the USG, a special dongle that you can insert into a USB port which then controls the flow of information between the host device and whatever you’re plugging into it. This filter should stop most unpleasant things from passing from an untrusted device into your computer and is aimed mainly at people that switch accessories a lot, or those that deal with untrustworthy thumb drives.
Currently, the USG is mainly aimed at stopping BadUSB code from coming through and ruining your day, though Robert Fisk, the designer and manufacturer, is working on expanding the threats it filters out. The USG right now only works on mice, keyboards and thumb drives, though Fisk is also working on firmware that should support other devices, notably USB hubs. The USG is also OS agnostic, so no matter if you’re a Linux, Windows, or Mac fan, if you worry about BadUSB infecting your devices, the dongle will work for you.
Fisk is building the USG on his lonesome in New Zealand, but has made the plans for the device publicly available in case consumers can’t wait to have one shipped to them. Fisk recommends that people who are constantly plugging in unknown devices — or ones that move between different computers a lot — protect their USB ports with several USGs to maximize their coverage. Though it may be a little ungainly to do so, BadUSB is nothing to trifle with.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.