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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: USB Drives

This Malware Can Transfer Data via USB Emissions from Air-Gapped Computers

This Malware Can Transfer Data via USB Emissions from Air-Gapped Computers
September 04, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Air-gapped computers that are isolated from the Internet or other networks and believed to be the most secure computers on the planet have become a regular target in recent years. A team of researchers from Ben-Gurion University in Israel has discovered a way to extract sensitive information from air-gapped computers – this time using radio frequency transmissions from USB connectors without any need of specialized hardware mounted on the USB. Dubbed USBee , the attack is a significant improvement over the NSA-made USB exfiltrator called CottonMouth that was mentioned in a document leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden. Unlike CottonMouth , USBee doesn't require an attacker to smuggle a modified USB device into the facility housing the air-gapped computer being targeted; rather the technique turns USB devices already inside the facility into an RF transmitter with no hardware modification required. Must Read: BadUSB Code Released – Turn USB Drives Into Undete

Warning! Think Twice Before Using USB Drives

Warning! Think Twice Before Using USB Drives
March 23, 2016Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have discovered a new data-stealing Trojan that makes special use of USB devices in order to spread itself and does not leave any trace of activity on the compromised systems. Dubbed USB Thief ( or Win32/PSW.Stealer.NAI), the malware has the capability of stealthy attacking against air-gapped or isolated computers, warns ESET security firm. The malware author has employed special programs to protect the USB Thief from being reproduced or copied, making it even harder to detect and reverse-engineer. USB Thief has been designed for targeted attacks on computer systems that are isolated from the Internet, according to the ESET malware analyst Tomáš Gardoň. The 'USB Thief' Trojan Malware The USB Thief Trojan malware is stored either as a portable application's plugin source or as a Dynamically Linked Library (DLL) used by the portable application. Since USB devices often store popular applications like Firefox, Notepad++ or TrueCrypt portab

BadUSB Malware Code Released — Turn USB Drives Into Undetectable CyberWeapons

BadUSB Malware Code Released — Turn USB Drives Into Undetectable CyberWeapons
October 04, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Once again USB has come up as a major threat to a vast number of users who use USB drives – including USB sticks and keyboards. Security researchers have released a bunch of hacking tools that can be used to convert USB drive into silent malware installer. This vulnerability has come about to be known as " BadUSB ", whose source code has been published by the researchers on the open source code hosting website Github , demanding manufacturers either to beef up protections for USB flash drive firmware and fix the problem or leave hundreds of millions of users vulnerable to the attack. The code released by researchers Adam Caudill and Brandon Wilson has capability to spread itself by hiding in the firmware meant to control the ways in which USB devices connect to computers. The hack utilizes the security flaw in the USB that allows an attacker to insert malicious code into their firmware. But Wait! What this means is that this critical vulnerability is now ava

Cryptolocker Malware learned to replicate itself through removable USB drives

Cryptolocker Malware learned to replicate itself through removable USB drives
January 06, 2014Swati Khandelwal
In the category of Ransomware Malware, a nasty piece of malware called  CRYPTOLOCKER  is on the top, that threatened most of the people around the world, effectively destroying important files of the victims. Cryptolocker, which strongly encrypts victims' hard drives until a ransom is paid, is now again back in action to haunt your digital life with an additional feature. Until now, CryptoLocker has been spread via spam email, with victims tempted to download an attachment or click on a link to a malicious website, but now it can spread itself as a worm through removable USB drives . Security Researchers at Trend Micro have recently reported a new variant of Cryptolocker which is capable of spreading through removable USB drives. As Previously reported by our Security experts at The Hacker News , Cryptolocker is a malware which locks your files and demand a ransom to release it. The files are encrypted so removing the malware from the system doesn't unlock your files. The o

Super 'Stuxnet' Malware development in progress to destroy Iran's nuclear program

Super 'Stuxnet' Malware development in progress to destroy Iran’s nuclear program
December 03, 2013Swati Khandelwal
Saudi Arabia and Israel's Mossad intelligence division are reportedly collaborating to develop a computer worm more destructive than the Stuxnet malware to spy on and destroy the software structure of Iran's nuclear program. The Iranian Fars news agency has reported : " Saudi spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and director of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency Tamir Bardo sent their representatives to a meeting in Vienna on November 24 to increase the two sides' cooperation in intelligence and sabotage operations against Iran's nuclear program. "  " One of the proposals raised in the meeting was the production of a malware worse than the Stuxnet to spy on and destroy the software structure of Iran's nuclear program ," But Why ? The report claims that Saudi Arabia and Israel were not particularly happy with the deal between between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) and Israel has dubbed the deal as " historic mista

Malware infected International Atomic Energy Agency Computers

Malware infected International Atomic Energy Agency Computers
October 22, 2013Wang Wei
Hackers and malware are everywhere, waiting for you around every corner of the Internet. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) , which holds highly sensitive information and plays a key role in global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, said on Tuesday that some of its computers were infected by malicious software, during the past several months. Malware can typically be used by cyber-attackers to gain remote access to systems, or to steal data, however spokesman Serge Gas said . " No data from the IAEA network has been affected ." The computers were located in common areas of the agency's Vienna headquarters, known as the Vienna International Centre (VIC). A third-party technician or visitor with the USB-drive infected with crimeware can be used to infect the system. " The (IAEA) secretariat does not believe that the USB devices themselves were infected or that they could spread the malware further " he said. Last November, the IAEA rev

New ZeuS Malware spreading automatically via USB Flash Drives

New ZeuS Malware spreading automatically via USB Flash Drives
June 11, 2013Mohit Kumar
The notorious Zeus Trojan , a family of banking malware known for stealing passwords and draining the accounts of its victims, has steadily increased in recent months. The malware family itself is frequently updated with mechanisms designed to evade detection by antivirus and network security appliances. Trend Micro experts spotted another new variant of  ZBOT Malware which is capable of spreading  itself automatically via USB Flash Drives or removable drives. According to report , this particular ZBOT variant arrives through a malicious PDF file disguised as a sales invoice document and when user opens this file using Adobe Reader, it triggers an exploit . Malware also has an auto update module, so that it can download and run an updated copy of itself. To self propagate, it creates a hidden folder with a copy of itself inside the USB drive with a shortcut pointing to the hidden ZBOT copy. Another variant of ZeuS #Malware spotted, with new feature of spreading itself automati

Microsoft flaw allows USB loaded with payload to bypass security controls

Microsoft flaw allows USB loaded with payload to bypass security controls
March 15, 2013Wang Wei
During  March Patch Tuesday of 2013 , Microsoft released seven new security bulletins, with four rated as critical, and others as Important. Most interesting one was MS13-027 , which is rated as "important" because the attack requires physical access to the vulnerable machine. This flaw allows anyone with a USB thumb drive loaded with the payload to bypass security controls and access a vulnerable system even if AutoRun is disabled, and the screen is locked. Flaw exposes your Windows PCs to major risk. If you remember Stuxnet, worm was injected to Iran's nuclear program system using USB thumb drive. Windows typically discovers USB devices when they are inserted or when they change power sources (if they switch from plugged-in power to being powered off of the USB connection itself). To exploit the vulnerability an attacker could add a maliciously formatted USB device to the system. When the Windows USB device drivers enumerate the device, parsing a speciall

Malware Infects US Power Plants through USB Drives

Malware Infects US Power Plants through USB Drives
January 16, 2013Mohit Kumar
The US Department of Homeland Security's Cyber Emergency Response Team has released a report , which stated that two American electrical power plants were compromised late last year and has identified a number of glaring electronic vulnerabilities. Some unknown malware infected two power plants control systems using unprotected USB drives as an attack vector. The tainted USB drive came in contact with a handful of machines at the power generation facility and investigators found sophisticated malware on two engineering workstations critical to the operation of the control environment. The report did not say if the computers did or did not have up-to-date antivirus software, but it did say that current software would have found the malware.  The other infection affected 10 computers in a turbine control system. It was also spread by a USB drive and resulted in downtime for the impacted systems and delayed the plant restart by approximately three weeks. ICS-CERT recom
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