The autorun files may have been put there by the manufacturer. I have 2 Toshiba external HDD's and the both came with autorun files.
That is correct. I have them on both my Toshiba and Wester Digital external drives.Autorun.inf
is a text-based configuration file that provides instructions for the autorun feature and contains instructions for the operating system and many external hard drives...i.e. options for how to view the contents.
Autorun.inf can be exploited to allow a malicious program to run automatically without the user knowing since it is a loading point for legitimate programs. Such an exploit involves malware that modifies/loads an autorun.inf file into the root folder of all drives
(internal, external, removable) along with a malicious executable. When removable media is inserted (mounted), autorun
looks for autorun.inf and automatically executes the malicious file to run silently on your computer.