If you watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier, you might remember a scene where a USB stick was plugged into a computer and Scarlett Johansen deftly hacked the crap out of whatever was on it. Well, tech like that apparently exists where just one USB stick could probably get you banned from any PC ever.
Programmer Samy Kamkar demonstrated his little USBdriveby device that looks like an innocous, if rather boring USB device. What you don't know is that little device can take over any unsecured machine.
Lock up your USB slots
What's so bad about a USB stick that doesn't involve viruses? Well, the USBdriveby can disable firewalls, emulate your keyboard, fool network monitoring apps and can quickly change your DNS settings. It can also leave a backdoor for hackers to connect to later and even more scarily, it can quickly remove traces of its actions by quickly closing any settings screens it triggers.
The great thing about USB technology is that it's easy to use. But it also makes it far too easy to exploit. The USBdriveby was customised to hack Mac computers but Kamky says it can easily also do the same to Windows or any Unix-based computer.
It's something that security researchers find a difficult problem to solve - USB's securability. Short of just plugging up your USB slots, what else can you do to stop people from just accessing your PC or dumping unwanted code onto your machine? Modern operating systems have not addressed the security holes (literally, holes) that USB creates.
So, just saying, maybe you should never leave your PC unattended where naughty hackers might find them.
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