It’s always been a bit risky to plug a USB drive that you don’t know anything about into your computer, but now it’s gotten downright dangerous.
Malware and viruses have always been a potential threat from any USB drive but in general, an up-to-date antivirus program could detect and block the threat.
A recent exploit demonstrated at this year’s Black Hat Security Conference exposed a way for hackers to change the firmware on USB devices to hide malware.
This new exploit is basically undetectable by standard security software and virtually unpatchable, meaning there is no easy fix for this design flaw.
Based on this latest news, it’s extremely important that you avoid plugging in USB drives that you don’t personally own and never use a USB drive that someone else seems to have lost.
Think like a hacker for a minute; infected USB drives dropped near college campuses and businesses could make it very easy to gain access to secured systems.
The fact that this new exploit is undetectable requires that we all become very suspicious of any USB drive we don’t own.
Businesses should warn employees and set clear policies on USB usage.
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