“But I didn’t send anything to the flash” – That’s what they say. But getting infected is pretty easy once you don’t have enough security in place. Though you might have a working antivirus, but some malware still find their way in (remember viruses are being made every day). So you need to update your virus definition. The virus attacks the Autorun file (AUTORUN.INF). So even if you don’t send or receive files, you still get infected. The autorun is responsible for showing the options popup you see whenever you connect your drive to the PC.
Now let’s assume you always work with your flash drive on other people’s computers (maybe clients) or you need to print some files (project or seminar) and you decided to print from a public center. These public centers receive flash drives from hundreds of people every day, and I’m sure 70% of those flash drives are infected. That is where infection mostly comes from. A lot of people lose their files on flash drives as the files turn into shortcuts. So they format the drive (not knowing the files can be recovered). If your flash drive is vaccinated, the autorun won’t be usable.
Vaccination can be done in two ways:
- Vaccinating the computer,
- Vaccinating the removable media.
To vaccinate your device, you’ll need to have (or install) any of these trusted softwares (though there are more available) listed below:
- Panda USB Vaccine
- USB Disk Security
When installing Panda USB Vaccine, you may need to untick the auto vaccination option so you can decide whether to vaccinate your drive or not.
Vaccinating The Computer
This option disables autorun on your computer. Whenever a removable media is inserted, no autoplay option will be displayed. This may prevent malware from auto-executing on your computer.
Vaccinating The USB Drive
This option disables the autorun on the drive to and prevents inadvertent transmission of malware to or from other computers you use your USB drive on.