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Windows 7: USB Devices Harbor 25% of All New Worms

28 Aug 2010   #1
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 
USB Devices Harbor 25% of All New Worms

Quote:

A report coming out of Panda Labs shows an increased trend for new malware and worm attacks to use USB devices as distribution channels.

The report places the figure around 25%, so for every one in four USB device, an attack has been reported.

Even if email attacks are still predominant, USB threats are on the rise, mainly due to the new wave of USB enabled devices launched on the tech market in recent years.

But don't imagine that only simple pocket-size USB drives are responsible. Any kind of USB device is susceptible to these attacks.

Anything from a digital camera, cell phone, external hard drive, DVD player, MP3 player, memory card, or mobile device can be the host of an USB worm.

These attacks rely on the Windows routine of reading the “Autorun.inf” file to get instructions on how to manage the newly connected USB device.
More -
USB Devices Harbor 25% of All New Worms - Softpedia


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29 Aug 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

You can also go back a few years and find other articles with the same basic warning. What many don't realize is how fast "bugs" can be spread from one system to the next. If your av program wants to scan a flash drive when first plugged in let it!
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29 Aug 2010   #3

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
This is really a bit of "Non info" or "Scare Info".

The main reason USB's are susecptible to attack is that usually people have either downloaded "dubious software" from the web or copied data from some else's usb drive which might already be infected.

Copying email attachments is also a prime source of virial attacks.

There's no more danger in a USB device than in a standard HDD if you take proper precautions and rigourously check any downloaded files / opened email attachments.

Dishing out this type of "Blanket" misleading info without adding the underlying cause of the infection possibilities doesn't really help people.

Cheers
jimbo
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29 Aug 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Not everyone has downloaded "dubious" downloads. Often bugs are cleverly hidden in seemingly normal utilities as well as simply hitting the wrong site and later going to transfer a few files with a flash drive something gets spread.

In most cases when swapping small files in particular between machines what will you use? For a laptop at work or school and the desktop at home not everyone will want to lug an external hard drive around with them with the ac adapter when they can carry 2-32gb of data in their pocket!

The ease of use is what makes people less cautious and overconfident resulting in the spread of something. The repeat warning simply reminds people that they can be even more vulnerable from "not taking precautions" when going to use flash drive like they would have on an internal drive or when moving an external model over from one to the next.

Instead of "scare tactics" the better term would be using some "common sense" in that regard and why new articles on the same theme tend to remind us to use it!
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29 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit (Build 7600)
 
 

Also, do remember, USB devices are shared between people.
For example, if someone has a certain film, and someone else wants it.. Then bam, you've got two people with the virus instead of one.
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29 Aug 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Photo sharing and passing a drive around to different family members who each may have their own? Without protections inplace that can be a "recipe for disaster" if anything else gets passed along with the photos in that type of circumstance.

The same circumstance in a sense is seen at schools were student may pass a drive around brought in from and even copy files from one flash to another spreading any bugs further.

Again that's where the av or protection program's prompt to scan a drive when plugged in other then from pulling it out of your own flash drive case but having traveled to other machines should be allowed to go to work.
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30 Aug 2010   #7

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
Actually what I meant was that per se USB devices are no more risky than HDD's or any other peripheral.

What DOES make them risky is that stuff is often downloaded on to them from a variety of sources and then the USB itself isn't properly scanned for possible infections.

A lot of people STILL don't use "Real time" protection software -- passive scanning AFTER THE FACT is often too late.

The sheer convenience of these devices is the problem -- however like everything else the danger can be minimized if the user observes sensible precautions.

My point was simply to say that USB devices aren't any more dangerous than any other piece of hardware --some people use mobile phones as data devices too. Same consideration applies.

Cheers
jimbo
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30 Aug 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Technically not but "common sense" wise people tend to use them freely without considering how easy it is to see anything spread from machine to machine. This isn't simply limited to novice users only however. Even people who may have multiple protections inplace on their system can overlook the additional precautions.
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31 Aug 2010   #9

win7
 
 

I had a case of downadup earlier this year. The cause....I bought 2 so called 32Gb flash drives on Ebay. Seller had thousands of reps with over 90% satisfaction. 1 drive had downadup autorunning on insertion, the other, I re-formatted and found only a 4GB drive. Reported to Ebay who promptly ignored the matter and the seller is probably still selling the infected / hooky drives. Lesson.. Caveat Emptor, Buyer Beware!! Ebay should get a grip of these sellers, but I guess there's too much money involved, ban an individual and they start up again next day with a different id...Oh well!!!
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31 Aug 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Don't feel bad! it seems several sellers are selling con jobs on generic flash drives inserted in name brand casings! I ran into a swapout on a 256 bid where a generic 256gb exFat format only drive was used to replace the name memory card inside! No bugs but unreliable.

In fact I've been runing into articles on this going back a few years! on these types of scams. One way to tell is when going to the safely remove icon in system notification area and not seeing the model number for the drive. Even with external enclosures the chip manufacturer's info is seen when going to use the eject option.

Not to go too far off topic here read a few reports on EBay. Flash Fake Memory Central – Information – FlashChipDirector

(if you are not burned by a bug passed along some flaky seller can get you! )
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 USB Devices Harbor 25% of All New Worms




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