The Return Of Flash Drive Attacks

The Return Of Flash Drive Attacks

Although cyberthreats, phishing attacks and ransomware are the hot topics right now, when it comes to cybersecurity flaws, flash drive attacks are not usually the first to come to mind. And yet, over the past few months, a number of reports have denounced the misdeeds of malware spread by this common little computer tool. 

What Is A Usb Attack?

A USB attack occurs when USB devices are used to infiltrate organizations, steal data or deploy vicious programs. Despite all the advances in technology, man remains the weak point in cybersecurity. Some USB attacks exploit human curiosity or negligence, encouraging users to insert infected disks into their infrastructures. Others gain direct access to a system, then connect a USB stick to spread malicious applications over the network. With the proliferation of USB devices and charging cables, these attacks can be particularly effective.

How Do They Work?

Many fraudsters pre-load malware onto USB sticks and disperse them in public places or send them specifically to targeted individuals or organizations. Unsuspecting users insert these infected disks into their computers, unknowingly running the pirate program and compromising their systems in the process.

There are several attack methods.

  • Keystroke injection: HID devices can behave like keyboards, mice, etc., and exploit their emulation capabilities. Attackers load these devices with specific scripts to perform nefarious activities upon connection.
  • Firmware reprogramming or BadUSB attack: BadUSB attacks reimplement the firmware of USB devices to make them act like other devices or execute dangerous commands. Once connected to a computer, the mined accessory can record keystrokes or propagate the threat.
  • USB drop attack: Attackers drop infected USB sticks in public places, hoping that individuals will insert them into their computers. This triggers the installation of fraudulent software or launches a phishing attempt to compromise the victim’s system.

How To Prevent Usb Attacks?

It is entirely possible to mitigate the risk of such a crime. For example, some preventive measures include:

  • Using endpoint security solutions capable of detecting and blocking clandestine USB devices and activities.
  • Educating users about the risks of inserting unknown USB sticks into their computers.
  • Disabling the AutoRun function to prevent programs from running automatically when USB devices are connected.
  • Regularly updating operating systems and security software to correct common vulnerabilities.
  • Using USB security tools capable of analyzing and blocking malicious USB activity, such as unauthorized file transfers or device emulation.

Contact us today. Let us help you implement the right cybersecurity measures for your business. 

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