Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, September 23, 2016

With recent surveys suggesting many people find it hard to resist popping a found USB stick into their computer, it's no surprise that hackers are using them to try to spread malware. Cops in Australia reported this week that a number of the diminutive storage drives have been left in the mailboxes of residents in a suburb of Melbourne. Curiosity has clearly gotten the better of some of the recipients, with a number of them learning to their cost that it's really not a good idea to plug such an item into a computer if you have no idea where it came from. A U.S. study earlier this year found that nearly half of 297 USB sticks placed randomly around a university campus were picked up and inserted into computers.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Liberal Blog Advertising Network

More

Comments

Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

My wife, who is much smarter than the average bear, has been preaching about this for years.

No thumb drives are permitted in any of our devices.

I always listen to the wife. Even if she's wrong, it's right.

Best practices, doncha know.

#1 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2016-09-22 11:40 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

I heard if you pick it up off the floor in less than 3 seconds it's probably still ok.

#2 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2016-09-22 12:58 PM | Reply

And if you are running any version of Linux, then by all means go right ahead and stick that strange USB into your computer. I do it all the time (for the sake of curiosity.. I am a curious guy).

Linux don't pick up no cooties from stray USBs.

In fact I sanitize other virus infected USBs for my friends all the time. I can see the virus just sitting there waiting for me to nuke it.

Use Linux.

#3 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2016-09-23 09:07 AM | Reply

It should be OK if you use a rubber.

#4 | Posted by sentinel at 2016-09-23 09:11 AM | Reply

Linux is NOT going to save you from the USB Killer stick.

www.inc.com [...]

#5 | Posted by sixam at 2016-09-23 11:19 AM | Reply

Six,

You're absolutely correct, though the USB Killer isn't usually something a home user needs to worry about. That's a device normally used in a business or government environment for a damage attack. Home users, more often than not, need to worry about RATs opening ports and allowing an attacker to use their machine as a zombie in a botnet.

That said, no, you are NOT safe from an infected USB using Linux, though the odds of infection are greatly reduced.

#7 | Posted by RevDarko at 2016-09-23 12:19 PM | Reply

If you run windows, of course, because they have all that autoplay stuff and silly code execution stuff on thumb drives. I'm pretty sure you're safe on linux unless the desktop environments have done something stupid by now. I think on macOS you have to enter a password before running anything on an unknown usb drive, but I'd have to test it.

#8 | Posted by LEgregius at 2016-09-23 12:27 PM | Reply

"USB Killer." If your looking to actually damage hardware, then yes, the OS just doesn't matter.

#9 | Posted by LEgregius at 2016-09-23 12:30 PM | Reply

Of course, if you buy the stick, yourself, you're safe, right?

#10 | Posted by RevDarko at 2016-09-23 12:47 PM | Reply

#6 | POSTED BY SIXAM

SIXAM
Seniority: 2
Contact User
No Home Page
Joined 2003/06/01
Visited 2016/09/23
Status: user

I always wanted to know who's no. 2.

#11 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2016-09-23 01:00 PM | Reply

Advertisement

Advertisement

Nice to hear from you, Sixam, but please don't link to sites selling USB Killer. Talking about it is fine.

#12 | Posted by rcade at 2016-09-23 01:03 PM | Reply

I would suggest you don't let anyone stick strange things into any of your ports.

Just saying.

#13 | Posted by donnerboy at 2016-09-23 05:41 PM | Reply

"And if you are running any version of Linux, then by all means go right ahead and stick that strange USB into your computer."
#3 | POSTED BY J_TREMAIN

While you are still way safer doing so than on another OS, I wouldn't live by those words. There are attacks that can be launched against linux systems via usb where the device firmware and in some cases internal hardware has been modified to act as a different type of device, say a keyboard or network card. There are also devices that appear to be a usb drives that will damage internal system components when you plug them into a computer.

#14 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2016-09-23 07:02 PM | Reply

Of course, if you buy the stick, yourself, you're safe, right?

#10 | Posted by RevDarko

nope and an excellent point.

some devices coming from china including the firmware hard drives have been found to be loaded with malware. Some devices were suspected of being intercepted by the NSA opened and had malware installed and then repackaged and sent on to the unsuspecting user.

Now there are reports of e-cigarette chargers from China which were corrupted and infecting machines with malware.

#15 | Posted by donnerboy at 2016-09-23 07:38 PM | Reply

Then there was the time if you bought a Sony music CD and put it in your computer it installed a rootkit.

#16 | Posted by snoofy at 2016-09-23 07:40 PM | Reply

And apparently at least 10 million Android devices had been infected by Chinese malware called HummingBad, according to cybersecurity software maker Check Point.

www.cnet.com

#17 | Posted by donnerboy at 2016-09-23 08:12 PM | Reply

There are attacks that can be launched against linux systems via usb

Yes there are.

Am I going to be hit by them?

In all probability... no.

There are like .. how many MILLION viruses and malware that attack windows? How many in Linux? Less than 50.

And those "less than 50" are not exactly viruses... they are "exploits"... I have to be very stupid and ALLOW them to run. They won't jump and infect like a windows virus will. I can see it coming.

I have a higher chance of choking to death on ice-cream than getting a virus from an infect USB.

What can I say... I like living dangerously.

#18 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2016-09-24 01:49 AM | Reply

Android devices had been infected by Chinese malware called HummingBad

The best way to avoid that is to get your apps and games from the Google Store.

Please don't get from pirated torrents and don't side-load. Pay for your ----.

Also in all kinds of Linux (including Android), if you can ID the folder/file, all you have to do is delete it and it's gone. It can't hide in the Registry for example.... there is no Registry in Linux...hahahahaha

#19 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2016-09-24 01:56 AM | Reply

Tell me about it.
~ Pris

#20 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2016-09-24 01:23 PM | Reply

Of course, if you buy the stick, yourself, you're safe, right?

#10 | Posted by RevDarko

nope and an excellent point.

some devices coming from china including the firmware hard drives have been found to be loaded with malware. Some devices were suspected of being intercepted by the NSA opened and had malware installed and then repackaged and sent on to the unsuspecting user.

Now there are reports of e-cigarette chargers from China which were corrupted and infecting machines with malware.

#15 | Posted by donnerboy at 2016-09-23 07:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

Crap! There is no such thing as privacy or security online. I saw a story yesterday about a hacker botnet cyber-attack on online cameras:
qz.com

#21 | Posted by cbob at 2016-09-24 10:12 PM | Reply

Comments are closed for this entry.

Home | Breaking News | Comments | User Blogs | Stats | Back Page | RSS Feed | RSS Spec | DMCA Compliance | Privacy | Copyright 2016 World Readable

Drudge Retort