Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Dangers Lurk in USB

It seems like USB is getting more bad rap than ever. It used to be just viruses carried on USB media, then viruses embedded in USB firmware, but now it’s also about how USB can permanently fry your hardware. That’s if your’e not careful and buy shady USB stuffs. Like really bad USB cables.

USB Cables

I changed upon this article on Android Authority, about the experience of Benson Leung, who had his Chromebook Pixel killed, along with two USB power delivery analysers, because of a mis-wired USB Type-A to Type-C cable from SurjTech. Benson Leung, if you might recall, is the Google guy who went around checking a big bunch of USB Type-C to Type-A converters, and calling out those that failed to meet specifications.

The SurjTech 3M USB A-to-C cable Amazon link provided in the Android Authority seems to be gone. I suppose SurjTech or Amazon themselves have decided to pull the product out. Note that the article refers to the brand as Surtech, but the Amazon product code matches the item with full description of “SurjTech® 3M USB 3.1 Type C to Standard Type A USB 3.0 Male Charge & Sync Data Adapter Cable for Usb-c Devices, Apple New Macbook 2015, and Other Type-c Device (B01937P0O6)” on camelcamelcamel.

I looked at the picture. The design and style seems to match an OTG cable I bought from Qoo10. This cable, unfortunately, did not work at all. It is simply not detected at all. I had suspected that the wiring connection might be broken, or they are mis-wired. Now, I’m wondering if this cable from Qoo10 and that from SurjTech is the same OEM.

Fortunately, my OTG cable did not destroy any of my gadgets. It seems we’ve got to be rather careful with the cables that we’re buying.

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