PoisonTap is a device that reveals the perils of privacy in an increasingly connected and computerized future. The small, card-sized device can connect via USB and insert malicious code onto even strongly password-protected Macs and PCs, giving hackers access to users' sensitive information.
Part of the terrifying nature of PoisonTap is that the entire system is incredibly inexpensive. The computational power of the device comes from a Raspeberry Pi Zero computer, which costs about $5.
The system requires a malicious hacker to be able to sit at the computer, but it can conduct its entire operation in just 30 seconds -- meaning that even a quick bathroom break could spell disaster. Not only does the PoisonTap steal information while it is actively in the computer, but it also installs a backdoor that gives hackers access to incoming information for the foreseeable future.