Should You Use A USB That You’ve Just Found?

Here is a Scenario for you,

“You are walking around or going to somewhere, using Facebook, Listening to your favorite song 😀 (mine is i took a pill in ibiza.. hahaha just kidding), or catching Pokemon, Getting fresh air or staring at girls 😛 and suddenly something catches your eye. Ohh wow It’s a USB drive, and its just sitting there in the middle of the footpath.

So now the question is, what is in the USB Disk? Someone’s personal photos? Movies? Songs? Games? Someone’s College Assignments? or an Evil Plans to rule the world? You don’t know unless you plug it into your Personal Computer, Stop right there….

Now for example if you found yourself as a part of this scenario, What would you do? Would you trash it in the nearest trash bin or would you plug it into your Computer to check what is inside that USB Disk?

Last month at Black Hat, Elie Bursztein (He leads the anti-abuse research team at Google) gave a Presentation at Black hat showing a result of a social experiment conducted by his team at University of illinois (of course, with the permission of the University). They dropped 300+ USB disks all around the University, all USB drives contained a harmless viruses that simply send an alert to researchers when someone inserted the USB Disk into their Computer, and that alert gave them the time and location info.

The results were shocking of a social experiment, 48% of the USB Disks were plugged into a computer by a victim, within 10 hours of being picked up.

In a Survey , 68% of the victims who picked up USB Disks and plugged them into their computer said that, they were just looking to get them back to their original owners. 😛

Now Guys, here is the upshot for you…

If you ever found yourself, in a situation like a social experiment in University and find a USD Disk on your foot steps, you really need to leave it alone.

Sure you might be able to see someone’s private photos, someone’s vacations videos, songs, movies or might be you targeted by a criminal.

So here’s the reason why inserting the USB Disks could cause serious damage, for example:

It might give an attacker access to your Personal Computer, Steal your Credit card/Debit card Numbers or track your keystrokes (including your passwords) or it might infect your device with Harmful Malware and viruses.

Now, from a criminal’s point of view that’s a good business deal 😀 , because the ransom that the hacker demand, or the amount of money on your credit or debit card that the key logger could steal, is quite a bit more then the cost of a USB key.

It seams like a rather profitable business for a Cyber Criminal…….

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Tayyab Saqlain