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Protecting my USB drive from viruses and malware

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Protecting my USB drive from viruses and malware

jimmy-jam
I have an issue with my thumb drive continually getting infected with various trojans and viruses. I travel to many different sites in my line of work and transfer files around with my USB drive. I used to only carry one drive around with all my data and I ended up having to format it because it got infected (I had my data backed up so NBD). I have since started carrying a junk drive that I would format after each use. Well the inevitable happened and my laptop has now gotten infected from my junk drive before I could scan and format it...

I have everything working and clean (I think). My question is, does anyone know of a way to protect your thumb drive from getting infected in the first place and if this can't be done, how can I scan it for viruses/malware before it infects my work laptop?
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    OH Smeg

    And lock it in the Write Protected State and only read from it.

    Of course if you have to write to the USB Device you are well and truly stuffed and you need to treat all computers that you work with as Infected and act accordingly. Scan them with a Rescue Disc and clean up any infections and Backup all of their Data while the Rescue Disc is in place.

    If you do this it's going to make a lot more work for yourself and any infected systems will probably loose some necessary Windows Files so some at least will not be able to be booted into Windows after you scan and clean them.

    For a better description of Rescue Disc's try reading this TR Article.

    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/security/rescue-cds-tips-for-fighting-malware/3803

    Col

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    jimmy-jam

    But how do I write protect my USB drive?

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    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    You can not write protect a open USB Thumb Drive in any reliable manner.

    Of course you could cut a Data Lead on the Substrate of the Thumb Drive and wire a switch in that way but realistically it's cheaper to just buy a Thumb Drive with a Switch already on it.

    Col

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    seanferd

    You need to purchase a USB drive with that functionality. They gots them a write-protect switch on da side.

    I personally prefer a plain storage device myself, but you can't write-protect them. You have to establish write-protection on every computer before you stuff the drive in.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    write enabled
    ___________
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\StorageDevicePolicies]
    "WriteProtect"=dword:00000000
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    write protection
    ____________
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\StorageDevicePolicies]
    "WriteProtect"=dword:00000001

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    0 Votes
    EdGallagherMVP

    This is the same kind of problem we used to have "in the old days" with floppy disks. While a USB stick with r/w switch or the reg hack may work much of the time, there are two problems with those methods:
    1- You have to remember to use the switch or make the registry change. Forget just once and...
    2- How do you get the data on the USB drive? When moving data from your PC to the client, the drive needs to be writeable on your system. When moving data from the client to your PC the client PC needs to write. Both actions still allow malware to transfer.
    What am I doing instead? Burn the data to optical disk, email it, transfer through an intermediary like a secured server where neither device has administrative access, etc.

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    0 Votes
    eazypos

    at least u can protect your usb with some kind of usb vaccine. u can goggle it.
    it will protect your usb from autorun malware.
    but u have to do it again after reformat it.

    fyi, microsoft has released patch to disable autorun for windows.
    u should run it in your laptop.

    hth

  • +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    And lock it in the Write Protected State and only read from it.

    Of course if you have to write to the USB Device you are well and truly stuffed and you need to treat all computers that you work with as Infected and act accordingly. Scan them with a Rescue Disc and clean up any infections and Backup all of their Data while the Rescue Disc is in place.

    If you do this it's going to make a lot more work for yourself and any infected systems will probably loose some necessary Windows Files so some at least will not be able to be booted into Windows after you scan and clean them.

    For a better description of Rescue Disc's try reading this TR Article.

    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/security/rescue-cds-tips-for-fighting-malware/3803

    Col

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    0 Votes
    jimmy-jam

    But how do I write protect my USB drive?

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    You can not write protect a open USB Thumb Drive in any reliable manner.

    Of course you could cut a Data Lead on the Substrate of the Thumb Drive and wire a switch in that way but realistically it's cheaper to just buy a Thumb Drive with a Switch already on it.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    You need to purchase a USB drive with that functionality. They gots them a write-protect switch on da side.

    I personally prefer a plain storage device myself, but you can't write-protect them. You have to establish write-protection on every computer before you stuff the drive in.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    write enabled
    ___________
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\StorageDevicePolicies]
    "WriteProtect"=dword:00000000
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    write protection
    ____________
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\StorageDevicePolicies]
    "WriteProtect"=dword:00000001

    +
    0 Votes
    EdGallagherMVP

    This is the same kind of problem we used to have "in the old days" with floppy disks. While a USB stick with r/w switch or the reg hack may work much of the time, there are two problems with those methods:
    1- You have to remember to use the switch or make the registry change. Forget just once and...
    2- How do you get the data on the USB drive? When moving data from your PC to the client, the drive needs to be writeable on your system. When moving data from the client to your PC the client PC needs to write. Both actions still allow malware to transfer.
    What am I doing instead? Burn the data to optical disk, email it, transfer through an intermediary like a secured server where neither device has administrative access, etc.

    +
    0 Votes
    eazypos

    at least u can protect your usb with some kind of usb vaccine. u can goggle it.
    it will protect your usb from autorun malware.
    but u have to do it again after reformat it.

    fyi, microsoft has released patch to disable autorun for windows.
    u should run it in your laptop.

    hth