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Protection against malware on new USB & hard drives?

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#1 GoshenBleeping


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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:28 PM

I have read about malware showing up on new USB thumb drives and external hard drives. If this is true, then how does one protect against this? My first thought concerning a new USB or hard drive is to reformat the drive. But that requires plugging the new drive into my laptop. IN which case the malware could autorun to install itself on the laptop? Is this correct? I think I am probably missing something important. Comments?

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#2 herg62123


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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:55 PM

USB Scanning Tools:

  • ClamWin Portable Antivirus
  • Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. For usb flash drives and/or other removable drives, perform a Full scan. The option for a Flash Scan will analyze memory and autorun objects but that option is only available to licensed users in the paid version.
  • Norman Malware Cleaner. For usb flash drives and/or other removable drives to scan, use the Add button to browse to the drives location, click on the drive to highlight and choose Ok.
  • Dr.Web CureIt. Choose Custom Scan after the Express Scan has finished to add your usb or external drive to the scan.
  • McAfee Avert Stinger Tool.
Tip: As an extra precaution, hold down the Shift key when inserting the drive until Windows detects it to keep autorun.inf from executing if it is present. Then perform your scans.

USB Protection Tools:

quietman7 sums it up in the quote above to help you out.
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#3 quietman7


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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:00 AM

In addition, Microsoft has previously issued updates in regards to the Autorun feature:

Microsoft is announcing the availability of updates to the Autorun feature that help to restrict AutoPlay functionality to only CD and DVD media on supported editions of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008. Restricting AutoPlay functionality to only CD and DVD media can help protect customers from attack vectors that involve the execution of arbitrary code by Autorun when inserting a USB flash drive, network shares, or other non-CD and non-DVD media containing a file system with an Autorun.inf file.

Microsoft Security Advisory (967940): Update for Windows Autorun (Feb 22, 2011)

In Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003, AutoRun entries were populated for all devices that had mass storage and had a validly formatted AutoRun.inf file in the root directory. This included CDs, DVDs, USB thumb drives, external hard disks, and any volume that exposed itself as mass storage. This update disables AutoRun entries in AutoPlay, and displays only entries that are populated from CD and DVD drives. Effectively, this prevents AutoPlay from working with USB media.

Microsoft Article ID: 971029: Update to the AutoPlay functionality in Windows (Aug 25, 2009)

To start any legitimate program, you can just open Windows Explorer, navigate to the USB drive, and double-click on the program to manually run it.

Note: If using Windows 7, be aware that in order to help prevent malware from spreading, the Windows 7 engineering team made important changes and improvements to AutoPlay so that it will no longer support the AutoRun functionality for non-optical removable media.

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