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Avast: 1 out of 8 malware attacks come from USB devices

By Matthew · 43 replies
Nov 3, 2010
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  1. Avast has published a blog post warning computer users about the increasing number of malware attacks targeting USB drives and Windows' AutoRun feature. During the last week of October, the security company recorded some 700,000 attacks on computers that voluntarily submitted data, and one out of every eight (13.5%) came from USB devices.

    Read the whole story
  2. ruzveh

    ruzveh Banned Posts: 123

    Thankfully i havnt noticed any virus since past 1 year. I have no antivirus or firewall installed. When u install them ur system becomes very slow so i prefer not to. But i strongly advise everyone to opt for a good firewall which will block all viruses and malwares. No need to install antivirus actually. Even if u install then scan ur downloaded files manually instead of active scanning. Try these tips guys. it works wonderfully
  3. theruck

    theruck TS Booster Posts: 113   +24

    what a surprise. the viruses spread over removable storage. sounds quite familiar. with the difference that 20 years ago the viruses have not been programmed by the antivirus companies and there was not som much panic as today :)
    why there are no viruses on linux or mac (or quite none)? windows is so super secure with every new version but the problems of the viruses and mallware remains. how is that possible...
  4. "Thankfully i havnt noticed any virus since past 1 year. I have no antivirus or firewall installed."

    looool How stupid is that? You don't have an anti-virus installed and are surprised you never noticed having a virus? How would you even know you're infected???

    "a good firewall which will block all viruses and malwares"

    That is not what firewalls are for....

    Someone should disconnect your computer from the internet, I'm sure that's where all the botnets are coming from
  5. surbey

    surbey TS Rookie

    About a year ago, I ran into a problem like this where a virus was being spread around at work through one of our technicians thumb drives. It was NASTY. We would go work on a computer, pop in the thumb drive to work, and leave the computer an infected mess. Took us about 15 computers before we noticed the pattern and stopped it.

    I wish they still made more read only switches on thumb drives. A friend of mine had one some time ago and it was wonderful. If you didn't want it infected, simply flip the switch.
  6. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    This is the one good thing about Avira's active scanner. Malware Antibytes can have one too if you purchase it. I dont really like active scanners because they slow down my computer, but perhaps with a quad core build it wouldnt slow it down much :D
  7. AbsolutGaloot

    AbsolutGaloot TS Rookie Posts: 92

    I wonder how many of those who reported getting a virus via usb plugged in a random stick they found lying on the ground somewhere: I remember seeing an experiment somewhere about that, and how many people would pick up a stick in a parking lot and plug it in.
  8. starfreezer

    starfreezer TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Being a technician in a company that have close to a thousand clients I get to see a fair amount of messages from our anti-virus. Our employees are pretty loyal to our IT policy and fairly uninterested in our computers (they are mere tools for them) yet still we see the "autorun virus found" type of message from time to time. So yes, in my experience, it is a pretty common occurrence. And as for not having antivirus on your PC: Why don't you just cut the brakes on your car while you are at it!? Seriously, "system becomes slow" what the hell!?
  9. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,041   +793

    haha! this "Guest" has no idea :)

    I also, do not use Anti-Virus Software, I have Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and A Watchguard Firewall (http://www.watchguard.com/products/xtm-2/overview.asp)

    I do have installed Microsoft Security Essencials but have it disabled and so far have done one scan of which I had no Virus's.

    The truth is, as long as your up to date with windows updates, use a secure browser (FF is what I use) and do not navigate to dodgy sites, its almost impossible to get virus's.

    I'm guessing this "Guest" visits Porn sites a bit too often ;)
  10. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,041   +793

    Also I agree that not having anti-virus installed if you don't know what your doing is pretty stupid, my Girlfriend is a good example, she'll happily click on any link on Facebook etc... She has her own computer with Sophos installed.

    But if you know what your doing and its just your own personal computer, in my experience you really don't need Anti-Virus Software active on the machine. See my post above for the kind of equipment that ideally should be used or something equivilent. Hell what I have is a bit "over board" and a standard firewall in a router, if setup correctly, usually will get the Job done :)
  11. customcarvin

    customcarvin TS Enthusiast Posts: 103   +8

    About a year ago, i caught one of these FTD's (Flash Transmitted Disease) :p ...Anyway, i had no clue at the time because it was brand new and Avast (at home) didn't detect it and Norton (at work) didn't detect it. After about a week or two of sliding my flash drive in random USB ports around my area... ... ...i noticed some strange hidden folders on my flash drive when i booted into my Linux Mint partition; they were labeled "ICE" and "HOT", or something similar to that. I was able to clean it up and delete those folders + the "autorun.ini" and the drive was fine... that is, until i plugged in while booted into my xp partition and it just reinstalled itself on the drive again. About 2 months after, Avast finally caught the $%U#*^ thing, and I am good again.
  12. taea00

    taea00 TS Enthusiast Posts: 102

    I agree that being careful is probably your best prevention to getting a virus, you should still use an antivirus. There are security conscious websites that can still unwittingly dish out viruses. I think Facebook had an incident a while ago where and advertisement was infected, also gaming websites, such as thottbot for WoW, have been targets to help spread viruses.

    It's better to be safe than sorry. For those that don't know however, don't ever use multiple anti-virus programs, you're definitely not safer as the programs can fight with each other and leave your more vulnerable.
  13. theruck

    theruck TS Booster Posts: 113   +24

    what the hell?
    probably that hell that for 10 years you have the same responses from your superduper extra special mega expensive hardware filled in computer while you think you are buying something extra which will make your work on PC faster. antivirus on a PC is like paying an insurance on your car while the price of the car is 50 times lower.
    if i buy a PC with OS i want it to work. i do not want to be made to buy a software which will make my PC unusable. if i use my pc for entertainment or internet browsing i do not care much if microsoft is doing something against viruses on my pc or not. if you are affraid of my pc, you get the antivirus or disconnect from internet. it seems that having viruses is so normal on windows that everybody is expected to buy a slowering down software to avoid it. is it really my responsibility and therefore Bill Gates wants infected pcs to be disconnected from internet? lets disconnect all the windows machines from internet. its not a global problem. it is a microsoft OS problem. always been
  14. blimp01

    blimp01 TS Enthusiast Posts: 144

    viruses are like zombie infections! dont let people's USBs bite your computer! haha
  15. uttaradhaka

    uttaradhaka TS Rookie Posts: 53

    I use Avast Free on all my computers. It does a great job of protecting them. But some people saying that its okay to have no AV installed at all is just preposterous. Because, the other day, even the Kaspersky website was hacked into. So, AV software is needed indeed.

    I recommend using Avast Free along with Malwarebyte's Antimalware for on demand scans for spyware

    Another great option is Panda Cloud Antivirus. It has its definitions up in the cloud, so there is no need for it to update, which is good

    Here's to hoping a safe computing experience!
  16. TwiztidSef

    TwiztidSef TS Rookie Posts: 49

    I recently added a bunch of antivirus programs to my computer. Ran several scans and only found a few tracking cookies. Before then I didn't have anything for protection. When trying to find out why I seemed to be the only person I know to not get viruses, I found out that my modem had a firewall and NAT set up. I guess my router and modem seem to catch most viruses that may come through.

    I would recommend Avast, Spybot search and destroy, Superantispyware, and Malwarebytes. Maybe Comodo Firewall but it seems windows firewall does a good job.
  17. thedrelle

    thedrelle TS Enthusiast Posts: 58   +10

    Good habits go a long way to keeping your computer clean. Regular checks help too.
  18. gLitCh32

    gLitCh32 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    In my opinion, if you are running Windows, you should have some sort of antivirus installed. I stay on legitimate websites, surf carefully, and I've still been infected from websites that I trusted. I think the ads that were displayed from another server were infected, and that's what infected my computer. You can be the most careful person in the world and still be infected. If you want a fast computer, use Linux :)
  19. Serag

    Serag TS Booster Posts: 181

    This is very true, I've come to a point where almost all malware I come across are from USB sticks, and that's because people aren't tech-savvy enough..I hope Lime Wire being shut down helps reduce that :D
  20. gobbybobby

    gobbybobby TS Guru Posts: 549   +9

    Lol if you have no antivirus to tell you that you havwe a virus, how are you sure you don't have one? Having antivirus is a must, I use avast but AVG is great as well. Its free and there is no reason to not have it. "but it slows down PC" You need to upgrade your PC then. ;)
  21. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 916   +24

    depending on where you live, if your environments are virus-infected like the case each one of my friend will always have these autorun virus then it may be more than 1/8.

    when i travel to other city i hardly catch any virus from my friends' thumbdrives. this is why I turned off autoplay for everything. im not sure if it helps or not, but i just hate the searching and pop-up thingy.

    btw, i use avast 5 free and malwarebytes free. im pretty happy with them.
  22. its a conspiracy obviously......lol
  23. pheonixnexus

    pheonixnexus TS Rookie Posts: 17

    It's true that viruses don't get on your computer very often depending on your habits but you should have a real time virus scanner and a firewall. There was a virus going around Europe and other countries that hacked computers and stole bank account information to transfer all your money to their account they stop it but not before it took millions of dollars not sure if police got it back right away. But even if they did you would still be out the money for a least a week. Most anti-virus software was updated fairly quickly so the spread stop but still even if there is only a one percent chance it can save your money, identity, or reputation i would take having a firewall and anti-virus shields on my computer any day even if i couldn't play my game at high res
  24. akannitaoheed

    akannitaoheed TS Rookie Posts: 79

    The truth is that you might not know your system is infected until you actually run a scan after updating your antivirus program. Sometimes your A/V may not be able to detect certain new virus infections until the programmers get to know of it, write a solution for it, you download as an update then install before the A/V program can then recognise the threat.

    The most dangerous part of it is that you will think that since your system is not slow or malfunctioning or that no programs are having issues starting up that you are actually safe. WRONG. Threats nowadays have gone beyond trojans and malwares. What about tracking cookies "tracking all your activities, spywares and stealers that steal credit card details, pins, passwords, account details e.t.c." You should know that when a programmer writes a virus, his intention is not to enrich the antivirus vendors, since he knows no one will come to him to buy an A/V since he is not known, he will rather make his virus work for him: STEAL CHEAT, SPY, SPAM, and do all sorth of stealthy mischiefs that you wont even know its there.

    In short get some even if its going to be free antivirus and make sure you update regularly. That reduces, yes reduces the number of infections. None totally cleans all.

    NOTE: No antivirus program is overall best. Just make sure you update which ever you have regularly.
  25. theruck

    theruck TS Booster Posts: 113   +24

    that is exactly the point. the antiviruses exist just for their own purpose. you have a virus but you dont feel it. you have an antivirus you feel it in your pocket and also on your windows. immediately and 99% of the time doing nothing just slowing down your work and showing you just that it has been updated. none of the mentioned antiviruses here will help you if you install them after you have been infected by a virus or mallware. usually they "cure" by the means of deleting infected files. if you happen to have a system file infected you are screwed. so they are actually not anti viruses but virus blockers only. the same blocker as any tool running on your web browser.
    the only one that actually works is PREVX and it is also one of the best ones as it is not the traditional approach of consuming half of your cpu and memory.

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