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1 out of 8 attacks come via USB devices
Category : General 08 Dec 2010 06:27 AM | Industry News
The key attack point for malware is the ‘AutoRun’ feature in Microsoft Windows operating systems (OS). AutoRun alerts computer users when a new device such as a memory stick is connected and is designed to help them choose what application should run with the new files.
“AutoRun is a really useful tool, but it is also a way to spread more than two-thirds of current malware. The threat of USB-distributed malware is much more widespread than just the Stuxnet attacks on enterprise computers – which were also spread via infected memory sticks,” said Virus Lab analyst Jan Sirmer. “Cyber-criminals are taking advantage of people’s natural inclination to share with their friends and the growing memory capacity of USB devices.
The infected device – most commonly a memory stick, but potentially any device with a mass-storage capacity such as a PSP, digital camera, some cellular phones, and mp3 players – starts an executable file which then invites a wide array of malware into the computer. The incoming malware copies itself into the core of the Windows OS and can replicate itself each time the computer is started.