Some people in the electronics industry might have heard of FTDIgate, which has been bricking various USB based hardware.
FTDI is a big manufacturer of USB to serial chips used in a lot of USB equipped hardware. Cloning and counterfeiting of chips is big, and very hard for the end user to detect.
Towards the end of October, FTDI released a new driver through Windows Update which has some insidious code implemented. The updates are silent, but they check for non genuine FTDI chips, and if they see a copy, they set the Product ID to 0.
All USB equipment has a VID and PID Data field, the VID is Vendor ID, the PID is Product ID.
Your computer will use these details to figure out what has been plugged in and what to do with it. When a lead with a copy chip is used, the new driver changed the product ID code on the FTDI chip to 0000, and the next time it is plugged in, it isn't recognised and doesn't work.
I have recently bought a new DCAN cable after my original was damaged from ebay, and this has been hit by the vid_0403&pid_0000 bug.
Keep an eye out, and if you do have issues, it may be the PID.
You can check this by looking in device manager, and at the advanced tab.