Slovakian cyber security company ESET has just revealed that they have discovered a new type of Trojan malware that can be spread simply by plugging in a USB drive. Aptly dubbed the USB Thief, this new type of malware is spread by directly plugging in a USB device to the target computer.
Unlike more common types of malware, the USB Thief does not require an internet connection to infect its target, and it can even infect air gapped network security systems. Once the USB Thief has been plugged into a computer, it will being running malware in the background and it virtually undetectable. USB Thief also features numerous self-protecting devices that allow it to infect targets without ever being noticed, and ESET also claims that whoever engineered the USB Thief included provisions that prevent it from being copied or reproduced. All of these features combine to make the USB Thief one of the most formidable malware developments in recent years.
The USB Thief can only infect computers be being directly inserted into a USB drive. Some might say that this this is a negative aspect of the USB Thief, but in reality this is a huge advantage as it allows data to be stolen without any trace.
In an interview appearing on welivesecurity.com, ESET malware analyst Tomáš Gardon offered users several ways to prevent falling victim to the USB Thief.
“This malware is unique because of some particular features but the defense against it still falls within the capabilities of general cybersecurity measures.
Most importantly, USB ports should be disabled wherever possible and, if that’s not possible, strict policies should be in place to enforce care in their use. It’s highly desirable for staff at all levels to undergo cybersecurity training – including real-life testing – if possible”
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