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djdelarosa25

Do flash drive "immunizers" even work?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

As a student, my flash drives occasionally get plugged in and out of my classmates' laptops and print shop PCs, which may or may not contain malware. I find it very frustrating to not be able to do something about it, so I did some research and I've read that I should to download an "immunizer" application that disables some autorun scripts on the flash drive itself in order to prevent the malware from executing its functions. Just wondering, is this legit?

 

Here's sample links of the programs I'm referring:

 

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Antivirus/Removal-Tools/BitDefender-USB-Immunizer.shtml

 

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Security/Security-Related/Panda-USB-Vaccine.shtml

 

Also, what free program can scan flash drives upon plugging them and remove malware in the process?

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These things will help, but only on the PC where they're installed in and they're still not 100% foolproof. Better than nothing, though, I suppose.


Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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In similar situations I recommend using a flash drive with a physical read only switch such as:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Kanguru-Flash-Physical-Protect-switch/dp/B008OGNM8E

 

If your trust level is particularly low you can even crack it open and remove the plastic switch so the pin can only be switched with a toothpick or needle.

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Step 0: show hidden system files

Step 1: delete autorun.inf of the USB drive

Step 2: create new folder named "autorun.inf"

Step 2.0: hide hidden system files

 

first line of defence.

Edited by VegetableStu
inf not ini pleh
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Making sure that your PC has a competent AV that auto-scans a USB drive upon insertion is a great start.

 

If you can also ensure that the "Print Shop PC" also does the same thing, even better.


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8 hours ago, djdelarosa25 said:

I've read that I should to download an "immunizer" application that disables some autorun scripts on the flash drive itself in order to prevent the malware from executing its functions. Just wondering, is this legit?

Microsoft has since disabled "autorun.ini" function I think way back in Windows 7 by pushing a software update. Those USB flash drive immunizers only prevent malware that uses the autorun function. I'd say I use a good anti-virus program with behavior blocking components as those are essential if you're in a risky environment like constantly plugging flash drives from others. If you experience one of those viruses that hides all your files, I've got a command prompt trick:

  1. Hit Start, type "cmd.exe"
  2. Right click and choose "Run as administrator"
  3. Type the following: 
    attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.*
     "g:\" is just and example. Pick the letter of your removable drive
  4. Hit enter

And you're done.


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I see the soul that is inside

 

Making Windows Defender as good or even better than paid options

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1 hour ago, djdelarosa25 said:

Thanks for rhe feedback! Do you have any recommendations for free AV that scans flash drives upon insertion?

Can't say for certain. I've used AVAST in the past but not in several years. Traditionally I'd use Bit Defender or Kaspersky, both of which are paid (though you can generally find them on sale for ridiculously cheap).


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