USB flash drives are tiny devices which helps to store, transport and backup files easily. When I purchased my first USB drive in 2006,the price was too high and it costs nearly 20$ for a 1GB pen drive. Today these drives are inexpensive device to transfer files. The size of the drive decreased and the capacity tremendously improved. Now a days most of the electronic shops offers free USB drive after a purchase of an electronics goods.
The best thing to this drive is it is handy, cheap, affordable and easy solution to transfer files and the worst thing is that it is highly vulnerable to virus infections. The main type of virus detected in pen drives are malicious codes that binds itself to the device and infect most of its content. When we insert such an infected USB drive in to a computer it copied to the computer and it will spread through the devices attached to this computer. So, what is the solution for it?
There are various methods to block USB viruses. You can block the USB drive virus by using a standalone antivirus. You can also use USB write protectors to write protect USB drives. In addition, to this there are so many hacks and tips available to protect your USB drives. Interested, read on.
Using Standalone Antivirus Tools
MX one is a free antivirus.This antivirus is designed to protect the removable storage devices like USB sticks (also known as pendrives), iPod™, mp3, mp4, memoirs M2, SD, microSD, and many more devices in an efficient and completely free.
TrustPort USB Antivirus is a mobile solution for the secure exchange of data on removable storage media like flash drives or memory cards. It prevents the use of malicious code on the storage media enables you to encrypt files from unauthorized access. It protects against viruses and any spyware. When connected to a particular computer will be activated resident protection. This prevents malicious code in the storage environment. Scanning on demand will help you to start checking the USB-device at any time. If malicious code is detected, the file will be renamed and moved to Quarantine or deleted, depending on your settings. One of the best feature is, as soon as the memory medium is connected to a given computer the resident protection is activated. This prevents the storing of harmful code on the given medium. So you don’t have to worry that while using a computer with an unknown level of security your USB flash disk or memory card will be infected.
Detect and Clean USB virus in the infected system. USB drive Antivirus is available in standard version and portable version.USB Drive Antivirus provides fully USB security solutions , it not only allows you to prevent data leak from usb port, but also provides 100% protection against any malicious programs trying to attack via USB storage.USB Drive Antivirus also has the ability to detect and remove usb/autorun virus in your computer. What you need to do is clicking the scan button,and waiting for virus scan to complete.
USB drives are so popular and generally get used to move data between multiple systems frequently. Even though USB drives are very useful, they are potential breeding ground for viruses. When you stick your flash drive the host computer will look for commands in “autorun.inf” to be executed automatically. Normally those commands in “autorun.inf” are harmless, but if the file was modified, it may call for execution of a Trojan or whatever program in your USB flash drive automatically.Naevius USB Antivirus is a tool which protects your pen drive from autorun-viruses. It has a powerful real-time antivirus application that protects your PC from all kinds of malware residing on USB drives connected to your system.
Protect USB drive using Dummy file
You can protect by creating a fake dummy file, which is used to cheat virus. These dummy files tells that your pendrive is full, so the virus will not be able to write to the pen drive.You can use the dummy file creator to create dummy files. You can Download Dummy file creator , it takes few minute to create dummy files if the size is in gigabytes. There is also a similar tools is avaialble NOD32 Dummy file creator. You can also give a try to it.
Protect USB drive using USB Write Protector
USB WriteProtector enables or disables the write protection for all USB devices of the running system, e.g. USB sticks or external USB hard disks.USB Write Protector is a tiny portable software that shields your USB drive from pesky viruses and trojans by disabling the write functionality. This tool is highly useful when you want to only read data from the USB drive on public computers.
USB firewall protects your system from security threats by launching itself as soon as a USB peripheral is inserted. As soon as USB firewall is launched it works in the background and a window appears when some program tries to launch out automatically since a peripheral USB.
USB Guardian is a special software application which prevents your computer to get infected with nasty viruses an worms like Conficker, which have spread already to over 9 milion computers. USB Guardian allows you to safely enjoy file sharing using just an USB thumbdrive for copying the files . Movies, mp3s, documents and pictures can be copied from one computer to another without worrying of getting infected with worms and viruses trough USB drive. USB thumbdrives have become a comodity and this fact is actively being exploited by criminals who have developed special viruses and worms which infect USB storage devices like thumbdrives, cameras and even mobile phones.
It is small application which protects your pendrive by giving options to write protect your pendrive by right clicking the system tray icon. Thumbscrew is my attempt at a poor man’s USB write blocker. When used it allows you to quickly enable or disable writing to all USB mass storage devices on your Windows system. In other words, you can use it to make a USB flash drive, hard drive or IDE / SATA drive in an enclosure read only. You will see one of two icons in your system tray to indicate whether or not USB mass storage devices are set to be read only:
Simply click on the icon and choose the menu item to toggle write access. All Thumbscrew really does is flip a bit in the registry at:
This is a simple flash drive manager with automatic scanning functionality. You can easily remove virus in one click.
Disable Autoplay Feature
You can disable the auto play feature of your USB drive and thus by diminishing the chance of spreading malicious viruses. You can use the Tweak UI (for windows XP) to disable the autoplay feature.You can disable the Autorun feature via the Control Panel.
Help to disable auto run functionality in windows can be found from here.
Write Protector Switch
Certain UISB drives have featured with a write protector switch, use them to enable or disable write protection. If your USB drive doesn’t have such an option you can also use USB write protector utility mentioned above to write protect your usb drive.
Here is a simple tip to protect virus to rewrite the autorun file. The autorun file is to mention which program needs to run when the USB drive is inserted in to a computer. Viruses usually used the autorun to file to call the virus code to start autorun, when the usb drive is inserted. We overcome this problem by simply deleting the autorun.inf file and create a new file using notepad and name it as ‘autorun.inf’ file and save it in to your pendrive and write click on it and change the attribute to ‘read only’ , then ‘hidden’ and apply it. So some virus cannot be write on to this file. This is not fool proof method. I tested it and noticed that some viruses replaced this files or rewrited on it. Anyway you can just give a try.
Here we are discussed about various methods to protect your USB drive from spyware and malicious virus. Which technique you are using to protect your USB drive? What you think about the above mentioned methods? Are they dependable?