Autorun is a most common default feature in Windows operating systems. It was introduced in the Windows XP which enables media and devices to launch programs by use of commands listed in a file autorun.inf, stored in the root directory.
Now a days this feature is mostly utilized by malware to infect the system.
Since autorun feature makes the programs to auto execute, a malicious program using that feature automatically get executes without user’s intervention.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce your vulnerability to malware that infects Windows computers via USB flash media and other removable media.
The first two steps can be implemented by the Home users and others steps in the corporate environment.
1: Disable AutoRun
The most common mechanism used to infect removable media and, through that, to infect computers, is Windows AutoRun.
More information regarding the disabling of the autorun can be found on the below link.
How to disable Autorun
2: Implement restrictive removable media policy
The most foolproof way to protect your self against malware that infects computers via removable storage media is to disallow all removable media usage. If no removable media can be used with your computers, no infected removable media will be used with your computers.
Because this is not always an option, there are other alternatives, including limiting removable media to specific items that have been checked and approved and disallowing their use anywhere else where they might pick up infections to bring back to the network.
3: Check all removable media on a secured system before use
Have a computer that is set up to safely check for malware that could affect the rest of the systems you want to protect, it can help ensure the safety of your IT resources. You can set up a system with any AutoRun capabilities deactivated and that preferably is not even subject to infection by the same malware that could affect the systems you want to protect. UNIX-like OSes such as BSD UNIX and Linux-based systems, serve well in this capacity when protecting a Windows network.Keep the system segregated from any network resources so it can’t transmit any malware on tested media across the network.
Combined with a restrictive removable media policy, an effective level of protection can be achieved.
4: Implement the basics
Educating users and ensuring that you have anti-virus scanning running on the systems you want to protect is one of the most important steps you can take, and can easily mean the difference between being safe and merely thinking you are safe.
Quick Heal USB Drive protection prevents malwares from creating the autorun.inf on the root drive of Pen drive, memory stick…. It also also scans the removable devices moment they are connected to the system.
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