USB condom: what it is and why you need it | TechBook

As the battery level nears completion, the search for a power source begins. Good that there are now in many places – such as in airports or trains – USB sockets and charging stations, in which you simply plug his charging cable and can breathe again. What many do not know: In the worst case, this can then be transferred even when connecting to the home PC on this and cause even more chaos.

Simple plug blocks data

The “USB condom”, which was designed by the research and development group int3.cc, should protect you from this. The “condom” is plugged into the normal USB charging cable and acts as an intermediary between the cable and the USB port. The pins in the USB connector, which are necessary for data transfer, are simply cut off by the middleman, so that only the contacts for charging the smartphone are plugged into the USB port. This allows the device to charge, but data exchange is not possible.

USB Condom

The original “USB Condom” | Photo: Xipiter

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Data Block USB Adapter

✔ Automatically switches to the correct Apple or Android charging specification
✔Protection against data theft
✔Compatible with various devices

In the meantime, the “USB condom” is being used by the small information security companyXipiterdistributed. On the site, the company also offers the new version “SyncStop” in addition to the original “USB condom”. This has received a housing that protects the electrical system on the small board and thus is much more practical in everyday life.

The SyncStop USB attachment

The SyncStop USB attachment | Photo: Xipiter

That’s why you always insert USB sticks wrong

On the SyncStop page, the original “USB Condom” is available for $ 6.99, while the newer SyncStop version costs $ 12.99. Add to that the shipping costs to Germany, because the small plugs are not sold in this country. However, there are, for example, on Amazon.de alternatives such as the “PortaPow”, which works similarly.

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Sabrent USB HUB

✔Easy to set up
✔Blue LED indicates power status
✔Fast transmission speeds

USB condom as additional protection

Android and iOS already have built-in protection that prevents unwanted power from flowing through the USB cable. Here it must first be confirmed on the smartphone that a data transfer should take place. If this is not done, the device automatically switches to the “charging only mode”. However, especially with Android there is a risk that the data transfer will be handled lightly. Because here the user can set themselves that every time a connection to a data-capable port is made, even data may be transferred. Also, smartphones with older Android versions may not have this protection.

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