Unknown device .... Any ideas ?

Thread Starter

oz93666

Joined Sep 7, 2010
672

I can tell by the writing this comes from Russia , but is it possible to to understand it's functioning just from this picture?
 

seanstevens

Joined Sep 22, 2009
66
I dont think it is a USB TV stick, not enough components. Is there anything on the other side, I presume not. Main chip looks like a MCU has its 5 pin programming pins close by - cant make out the writing on the chip. Also has some kind of connector on XP2, is there any opening on the case where XP2 is? Could it be a simple microcontroller development board?
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,643
Don't know what it is but I recall back in the 80's some programs had plug-in devices that allowed a certain software to work on your computer. It was intended to prevent piracy of software. In other words, you load a program - lets call it "Banana Peeler". It worked on your computer ONLY if you have the security device. You could copy Banana Peeler to any computer you liked, but it would only operate if you had the security chip.

Like I said, I DON'T know what it is. Just tossing this out there because it's one possibility. You'll be lucky to find someone who knows what it is. With electronics these days it can be anything. However, I'd rule out some sort of bluetooth or wireless device unless there are more components on the back side.
 

Thread Starter

oz93666

Joined Sep 7, 2010
672
Thanks for your input everyone .... is that white oblong a 6 pin socket ??? Could there be an opening in the transparent case that allows a plug to be inserted from below???
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,576
Don't plug it in until you're sure what it is. Yes you can still get a virus, a nasty one, just by plugging in a USB fob, even if auto-run is disabled. The firmware can emulate a keyboard, and after you plug it in the "keyboard" will type out commands to download and install a back door. Kevin Mitnick has demoed various versions of this several times, some of them happen so fast you might not even notice if you're looking at the screen when it happens. Here's one version that runs a little slower so you can see what happens. If you don't know who Kevin Mitnick is, get some popcorn and spend some time on YouTube, you will learn a lot.

PS-> One way the bad guys get into good guy networks is to drop a bunch of USB fobs around; in the parking lot, leave one in the lobby, etc.. eventually someone at the company will plug one in out of curiosity and presto the bad guys are in.

 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
1,295
80's some programs had plug-in devices that allowed a certain software to work

Those were called Dongles and plugged into a 25? pin RS-232 port. The software scanned the ports to find it before executing the main program. And Oh Yeah they also make USB KILLERS that when plugged in will destroy your computer.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
4,015
We could provide much better guesses if you posted pictures of both sides. I do see what looks like a small oscillator module between the connector and the IC. So it may indeed be a "dongle" for some software, in which case it may be very valuable, since the programmed in serial number matches the number of that program. It might also be a WIFI adapter, depending on what parts are on the flip side of the board.
 

seanstevens

Joined Sep 22, 2009
66
Yes, as Tonyr1084 & SamR say, they could well be a software dongle. I still have my Proton Basic from 2003 which wont work without its dongle plugged in.
 
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