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Rubber ducky attack

(also USB Rubber Ducky attack)

Rubber ducky attack definition

A rubber ducky attack, also known as a USB Rubber Ducky attack, is a type of cyberattack that involves a malicious USB device posing as a keyboard. When connected to a computer, this device inputs pre-programmed keystroke sequences rapidly, executing commands or scripts that can compromise the system.

See also: anti-malware, anti-phishing service

Rubber ducky attack examples

  • Data theft: An attacker can use a rubber ducky attack to extract sensitive data from the computer quickly.
  • Malware installation: This attack can be used to install malicious software onto the computer system unnoticed.

Comparing a rubber ducky attack with similar attacks

A rubber ducky attack can be compared with other attacks that involve physical access to the device, like an ”evil maid” attack. However, the rubber ducky attack is faster and less noticeable because it doesn't require the attacker to manually input anything — the malicious USB device does it automatically.

Advantages and disadvantages of a rubber ducky attack (for attackers)


  • Speed: A rubber ducky attack can be executed in seconds, making it difficult for users to notice or prevent.


  • Physical access required: To perform a rubber ducky attack, the attacker needs physical access to the victim's device.
  • Device security: Many devices have USB port security measures that can prevent such attacks.

Defending against rubber ducky attacks

  • Avoid using unknown USB devices: The most effective way to defend against a rubber ducky attack is not to insert unknown USB devices into your computer.
  • Use secure USB ports: Use USB ports that have built-in security measures to prevent unauthorized data transfers.
  • Disable autorun: Configure your operating system to disable autorun functionality for USB devices, preventing automatic execution of malicious code.