A few months back, an information security consulting firm employed this technique using a clever social engineering...
twist while performing a penetration test. The team scattered about 20 thumb drives around the penetration test customer's parking lot. Then, the team asked the employees of said company to find these USB tokens and plug them into corporate computers to see what was on them. Once inserted, the software on the drives automatically executed, allowing the penetration testers to bypass the firewall and control these computers.
So, how can information security pros deal with this new threat? You could disable USB tokens entirely from your environment, either by disabling the drivers on individual machines, or doing so on an enterprise-wide level, using Group Policy deployed with Active Directory. You can also use Group Policy to disable CD auto-run, as described here.
Some organizations have even taken the more draconian step of putting glue into all of their computer systems' USB slots to prevent them from being used. Of course, such a solution isn't ideal for all of us.
Dig Deeper on Information Security Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
Related Q&A from Ed Skoudis
At Black Hat 2006, researcher Joanna Rutkowska unveiled a piece of machine-based malware called the Blue Pill. But is it a serious threat to your ...continue reading
Wi-Fi on airplanes seems like it will be unavoidable in the future, but what security risks does it pose? In this security threats expert response, ...continue reading
There are some rare forms of malware that antivirus software doesn't pick up on, but there are some good tools to remove all sorts of malware.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.