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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: USB Security

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
How To Encrypt Your USB Drive to Protect Data

How To Encrypt Your USB Drive to Protect Data

June 15, 2015Mohit Kumar
The USB flash drives or memory sticks are an excellent way to store and carry data and applications for access on any system you come across. With storage spaces already reaching 256 gigabytes, nowadays USB drives are often larger than past's hard drives. Thanks to increased storage capacity and low prices, you can easily store all your personal data on a tiny, easy-to-carry, USB memory stick. The USB drive is a device that is used by almost everyone today. However, there's a downside… I think you'll agree with me when I say: USB sticks are easily lost or stolen. Aren't they? However, in today's post I am going to show you how to use your USB drives without fear of being misplaced. If you are not aware, the leading cause of data breaches for the past few years has been the loss or theft of laptops and USB storage devices. However, USB flash memory sticks are generally treated with far less care than laptops, and criminals seeking for corporate devices could cost your c
USBKill — Code That Kills Computers Before They Examine USBs for Secrets

USBKill — Code That Kills Computers Before They Examine USBs for Secrets

May 05, 2015Mohit Kumar
USBkill — A new program that once activated, will instantly disable the laptop or computer if there is any activity on USB port. Hey Wait, don't compare USBkill with the USB Killer stick that destroy sensitive components of a computer when plugged-in. "USBKill" is a new weapon that could be a boon for whistleblowers, journalists, activists, and even cyber criminals who want to keep their information away from police and cyber thieves. It is like, if you are caught, kill yourself. In the same fashion as terrorists do. Here I am not talking about to kill yourself, but to kill the data from your laptop if the law enforcement has caught your laptop. USBkill does exactly this by turning a thumb drive into a kill switch that if unplugged, forces systems to shut down. Hephaestos ( @h3phaestos ), the author of USBkill, reports that the tool will help prevent users from becoming the next Ross Ulbricht , founder of the infamous underground drug marketplace
USB Defense: Stop Data Walking Out The Door

USB Defense: Stop Data Walking Out The Door

April 17, 2015Wang Wei
The bad news is that internal data breaches are on the rise. And one of the biggest culprits? USB devices. In the past few years, there has been many organizations tracking down the loss of sensitive/confidential information due to the usage of USB drives and other mass storage media. Cyber-security breaches and data theft are making more and more IT leaders paranoid about security than ever before. Why are USB devices dangerous? USB devices can hold a lot of information. For example, a 128 GB USB flash drive can store 60,000 photos, 20,000 songs, 100+ videos, and more. Just imagine how many protected corporate files could fit on one drive. Also, the storage capacity of USB devices is only going to increase. USB devices are super portable. Some USB storage devices are the size of a small coin. This makes them very difficult to visually detect when plugged into an open port. USB devices are cheap and easy to find. If you're in the market for a USB storage device, there
China-made E-Cigarette Chargers Could Infect Your Computer with Virus

China-made E-Cigarette Chargers Could Infect Your Computer with Virus

November 27, 2014Swati Khandelwal
It's better for smokers to quit smoking. Are you using electronic cigarettes (E-cigarettes) instead normal ones?? Still, you should quit your smoking habit, because it not only damages your health, but could pose a danger risk to the health of your computer. E-cigarettes have become the latest vector for hackers to distribute malicious software. E-cigarettes manufactured in China are reportedly being used to spread malware via a USB port to computers when users plug in for charging it up. The report broke when an executive at a "large corporation" had been infected with malware from an undetermined source after he quit smoking and switched to e-cigarettes made in China, detailed a recent post to social news forum Reddit . Further investigating the matter, he found that the chargers of the e-cigarettes - bought from the online auction site eBay for $5 - are hard-coded with the malware that infected his workstation despite having latest virus and anti m
Google Launches USB-Based "Security Key" To Strengthen 2-Step Verification

Google Launches USB-Based "Security Key" To Strengthen 2-Step Verification

October 22, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Google is taking its users' privacy very serious and making every possible effort for its users just to make them feel secure when they are online. Today, the tech giant has announced its enhanced two-step verification service that is based on a physical USB key, adding yet another layer of security to protect its users from hackers and other forms of online theft. SECURITY KEY- 2 STEP VERIFICATION USING USB DRIVES The "Security Key" feature will currently work on Chrome and will be free for Google users, but the company also notes that the Security Key is supporting the open Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) protocol from the FIDO Alliance, which will allow users to log in to Google Accounts by inserting a USB device into their systems. By letting users protect their accounts using two-factor authentication based on physical USB keys, it will be no longer any compulsion for you to type in the six-digit authentication code in Google's Gmail or your Google Acco
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
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