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Don’t Panic, But All USB Devices Have a Massive Security Problem

Discussion in 'Windows - Software discussion' started by ireland, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. ireland

    ireland Active member

    Nov 28, 2002
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    Don’t Panic, But All USB Devices Have a Massive Security Problem

    USB devices are apparently more dangerous than we’ve ever imagined. This isn’t about malware that uses the AutoPlay mechanism in Windows — this time, it’s a fundamental design flaw in USB itself.

    Now you really shouldn’t pick up and use suspicious USB flash drives you find lying around. Even if you ensured they were free of malicious software, they could have malicious firmware.

    It’s All In The Firmware
    USB stands for “universal serial bus.” It’s supposed to be a universal type of port and communication protcol that allows you to connect many different devices to your computer. Storage devices like flash drives and external hard drives, mice, keyboards, game controllers, audio headsets, network adapters, and many other type of devices all use USB over the same type of port.

    These USB devices — and other components in your computer — run a type of software known as “firmware.” Essentially, when you connect a device to your computer, the firmware on the device is what allows the device to actually function. For example, a typical USB flash drive firmware would manage transferring the files back and forth. A USB keyboard’s firmware would convert physical key-presses on a keyboard to digital key-press data send over USB connection to the computer.

    This firmware itself isn’t actually a normal piece of software that your computer has access to. It’s the code running the device itself, and there’s no real way to check for and verify a USB device’s firmware is safe.

    go here to read more

  2. attar

    attar Senior member

    Jun 17, 2005
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    Some super secret organization could persuade Kellogs to distribute free flash drives in the corn flakes?
    Too hit or miss for me to worry.

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