It seems harmless, but it is the favorite weapon of hackers; be careful with this device

It is specifically the use of USB sticks to strain viruses. A simple flash drive, a small device that may seem harmless, becomes a major problem. They could control your device and get hold of all the access keys if you don’t realize it and use it on any computer.

Attacks with flash drives triple

According to a report they have made from Mandiant, the attacks using USB sticks they have tripled in the first half of 2023. They have detected different campaigns that target both companies and home users. They may aim to obtain sensitive data from different industrial sectors, for example.

Not all attacks are the same. Sometimes what they are looking for is to create a back door to control the system and thus be able to run commands arbitrarily and affect security and privacy. Other attacks may have the mission of extracting files from a specific folder or certain specific data from the system.

But how can this affect home users, any of us? Hackers can create a USB memory, a simple flash drive, with some virus. what they are going to do is distribute it somehow. They can leave it “forgotten” in a library, university, cafeteria… When the victim picks it up and uses it, that’s when the problem begins.

It may even be the case that they put malicious flash drives for sale. This can happen if you buy this type of memory in unknown pages, without guarantees. Cybercriminals could take advantage of these channels to distribute malware and have it reach the victim. They could sneak in ransomware, for example, to encrypt all files and then demand a ransom in return.

Avoid malware through flash drive

Tips to avoid it

What can we do to avoid being victims of these attacks through USB memories? Luckily it is very easy to be protected, since the main thing is never use memories we find losses. It could be a trap and should be avoided. However, if you would like to venture out and use it to, for example, find out who it is from and return it, we recommend doing so in a secure environment. You could use a computer disconnected from the Internet, with Linux and in which you do not run the risk of losing important data.

Beyond that, it always pays to take the proper precautionary measures for any security threat. It is key to have the updated system, as this will help you fix vulnerabilities. It is also convenient to have a good antivirus installed and be able to detect malicious software that reaches your system. This will help you avoid many threats, not just the ones that can arrive via a USB stick.

As you can see, the attacks using a flash drive have increased. It is something that could put your devices at risk. You should be prepared, avoid using memories of this type that you find lost and never leave your computer or mobile unprotected. A clear example is the use of the Rubber Ducky, a device that can be a real danger.

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