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MCC Daily Tribune Archive

Found USB Drives

Have you ever found a USB “thumb” drive laying around? Many people’s first instinct is to plug it in and see what is on it in order to find out who it belongs to. That might be the nice thing to do, but that is a dangerous thing to do.

Many social engineers, hackers and just bad people take advantage of the niceness or curiosity of others. It is not uncommon for one of these bad people to load a virus or keylogger on a USB drive and drop it off in a parking lot or a crowded area assuming someone will pick it up. These programs are designed to run as soon as the USB drive is plugged into the computer and most of the time, the user will have no idea that the malicious program is running. Now the hacker has a virus on your computer which can damage your files or he is logging your passwords when you type them. Your niceness just backfired dramatically.

So what should you do if you find a USB drive? Ask around your office area if anyone lost one, bring it to a lost and found area but do not plug it into your computer. If you have already done so and think your computer is infected, call the helpdesk at 292-TECH, to schedule a technician to check it out.

Jeff Willard
Communications and Network Services