Glue in the Ports

USB drives catch a lot of flack. They can be an easy way for intellectual property to walk out your front doors, but apparently they can be serious from a worm/virus standpoint as well. A recent advisory email from DeviceWall noted that a malicious programmer has written a worm designed to infect such devices. Read on:

"A new worm which infects removable media devices such as USB flash disks and external drives has arrived. Called LiarVB-A, the worm searches out removable drives and copies itself with an autorun.inf file to ensure the malware runs automatically whenever the drive is connected to a PC."Once it has infected a system, it drops an HTML file containing a message about AIDS and HIV to the user’s drive. Although the worm appears to do no lasting damage to a target PC, the graffiti-ware is unlikely to win the author many friends. The more serious message for IT managers (not that AIDS isn’t serious, of course) is that hackers are now fully switched-on to removable media devices as vehicles for the propagation of computer viruses. As such, companies need to think hard about how freely these devices can be used on the network."

Some IT administrators have advocated shutting down USB ports manually with glue, but there are a number of solutions that offer a software solution, too. We did an article about USB drive security back in early May '07. You can read it here.