Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hackers Target USB and Other Removable Media . . . Again

Written July 19, 2010 by Joel Harrison,
INVISUS Senior Technology Analyst

The world was recently attacked by malware that installed itself through the AutoPlay feature, and it is happening again. The previous attack placed a second AutoPlay option in the window that pops up when you insert a flash drive. Clicking on the wrong one would infect the computer. This new threat attacks shortcut icons. It targets USB sticks and other removable drives.

A security advisory issued by Microsoft warns users of targeted attacks against Windows Shell (that is the main interface that Windows uses to organize the desktop and file system). The attacks work on virtually all versions of Windows and could enable a hacker to take complete control of a victim’s machine.

The attack targets the way Windows parses shortcut icons on a user’s system. Microsoft said disabling AutoPlay makes it more difficult for the attack to work. The attack can be carried out remotely through network shares or remote WebDAV shares.

As usual, make sure that the INVISUS security software on your machine is updated and running scans regularly. Do not plug in USB flash drives that you find or were given to you by someone you are unfamiliar with.

Note: Whether your computer is at your home, church, or small business, you owe it to yourself, your family, congregation, customers, and employees to ensure that it is safe and secured from hackers and cybercriminal attacks.

Thus, I encourage you to test your PC right now by clicking on the test button in the upper, right column. After you've tested it, why not also take a moment to see if your small business is PCI compliant?