USB-equipped devices have not only become ubiquitous – they are also an ever- growing security issue because of the way computers inherently trust them. And thanks to Microsoft’s autorun feature, malware is being installed these days as easily as legitimate programs.
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However, legitimate data is not the only thing being passed on- malware can just as easily be passed on as well. For example, one USB-borne piece of malware known as INF/Autorun virus has topped the global threat charts some two months in a row.
USB sticks are very convenience particularly to mobile workers, but they are also a growing threat because computers tend to inherently and instinctively trust them.
And Microsoft’s own security experts have gone on record to say that autorun is a bad idea, with some security experts calling it “a completely insane feature,”
So to stop the spread of USB-borne viruses, security vendors insist on a few basic methods which could be effective.
These include using only legitimate and high-end antivirus software that’s kept up to date. Another measure is to not plug in a USB drive while using administrative privileges, which won’t prevent infection, but will decrease the damage any infection can do.
However say the experts, the best and most effective idea is to disable the autorun function (which of course, Microsoft makes as difficult as possible) – that measure at least gives users a fighting chance against any malware that may be on a USB device.