As a computer tool, it is one of the most useful. But like many other things, hackers have managed to turn the situation around. What we want to say is that they have been able to find a way to use a USB memory. The purpose is obvious: distribute malware among users. Many times it is a practice that the owner of the storage unit does not know about.
When transferring files between computers, or even as a place to store temporary information, it is useful. Many users connect and disconnect between teams in a totally carefree way. The problem is that right now there are reasons to worry. Cyber criminals are very skilled and create computer viruses that, in addition to being installed in the computer’s file system, are replicated to other storage units accessible from that computer. Among them is the USB memory, something that 100% of Internet users possess.
Is there really a real risk of infection through these devices? The reality is that yes. Something that we are going to check next.
Surveys conducted by security companies support all this we are counting and we will expand.
A USB stick infected with factory malware
It happens with smartphones, but there have also been cases in which a USB is infected with malware since it left the factory. No manufacturer knows how to respond to this. The reality is that there is a moment in the assembly line where the opportunity is used to introduce the threat.
Any user arrives at home with the new USB memory, there is no antivirus software, connects the unit to the USB port and is automatically copied to the file system. In other cases, some iteration by the user is required.
An infected computer
It is also possible that you have borrowed or someone lends you a USB memory for the transfer of information. This simple action that we have surely made at some point could become a fatal mistake. The team of this person could be infected with some type of malware that could attack our unit and the information contained in it.
And in libraries and universities? We are in the same situation, being infected with a virus that is replicated in the USB when it is connected.
There is a way to tackle this problem. Obviously, the main measure is the definition of areas of use. That is, if you have a number of USB memories for home use and that are not affected by any virus, do not make the mistake of connecting these on computers that are public places or belonging to companies.
In this way, we will isolate our equipment and USB memories from possible problems.
Lose some time with Linux
It is true that there are threats to these operating systems, but to a lesser extent than Windows. For this reason, it may be advisable to reserve a bit of our time to create a “lab” with a GNU / Linux distribution. In this way, we will be able to connect without practically risk a USB memory and carry out an analysis of the content of the storage system, being able to eliminate that content that is suspicious to us.
In case of doubt, it is best to apply a format to the unit.
Never connect a USB to our equipment that has been connected to other equipment
You never know what the team of your family, friends or classmates might surprise you with. For this reason, always be suspicious and try not to connect a USB memory that has “traveled” between different computers.