How to secure USB flash drives

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Advice how to effective protect USB flash drives with free tool.

We still can hve peace from autorun viruses. Infected USB flash drives are bringing  in compansy from employees homes, customers … and boom, company IT network is infected with virus again. Viruses exploit autorun functionality for bad intentions, usually is one of the Conficker mutant.

File autorun.inf problem

Not a while ago good and effective protection would be to block autorun function to avoid automatically running apps from external media as USB flash drives, CD/DVD and external drives. And to protect network maps you just simply put own protected emty autorun.inf file in every map. But not this year anymore. Normally that virus authors recognized this effective protection as well, so they found a new way to circumvent this protection.

Soon appeared specialized apps/tools that are preventing external media from running autorun viruses automatically when you connect external media to computer. I try many of them, but I wasn’t completlly satisfeid with any of them, all had pluses and minuses for usability.

Effective protection

During my apps testing I found free tool from Panda Research: Panda USB Vaccine. great tool! Effective like no other tool that is specialized in USB flash drives protection. for some time I have peace from autorun viruses on computers where they use man different USB flash drives daily.

I reccomend Panda USB Vaccine as a effective USB flash drive protection.

Panda Vaccine prevents autorun files to run on computer and creates a false autorun.inf file, which you can not remove from USB drive or changed. It protects both; USB drive and computer.

If necessary, you can temporarily withdrawn computer protection. Vaccinated USB drive is protected forever against autorun viruses, so you can not remove it at all.

Win XP use to use autorun file for example to run DVD movie automatically when you put DVD in computer’s DVD drive or to see immediately content of USB flash drive. This convenience some exploits to spread viruses and malicious code. Recently patch for Win XP and Windows 7 prevent automatic start of apps and scripts, but viruses somehow manage to run it.


Works as system engineer in Slovenian Enterprise in Microsoft environment focusing on security, deployments, SharePoint, SCCM and CheckPoint firewall. Author of successful blog about IT security, Microsoft tips & tricks, social media, internet trends.

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