Storage drives connected by USB devices known otherwise as flash drive, USB stick, USB key and thumb drive. Also includes larger storage devices such as portable hard drives.

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36
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3answers
12k views

Is it enough to only wipe a flash drive once?

According to the documentation for the "diskscrb" command for wiping conventional hard drives: http://www.forensics-intl.com/diskscrb.html "Conforms to and exceeds the Government Standard set ...
23
votes
4answers
11k views

How reliable is a write protection switch on a USB flash drive?

I'm currently using a USB flash drive with a live distribution. At times I would plug it into terminals I cannot trust. My threat model here is solely the risk of unauthorized modifications to the ...
11
votes
3answers
365 views

Retrieve files from possibly infected USB

I work in a lab environment, and save data to a shared PC. This PC is not networked, and so the only way to get the data from that PC to my own, is through USB. The lab director has mentioned that the ...
9
votes
5answers
672 views

Using a weak password on a truecrypt volume

I have put together a portable apps USB stick for when I need to use random site computers, I also threw truecrypt on with an encrypted volume for some word documents. The password I am using is ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Detecting malware-infected USB drives

I'm about to distribute some relatively cheap promotional usb drives to some of my company's clients. I'm fairly confident the company I purchased them from wouldn't intentionally implant malware on ...
8
votes
4answers
802 views

Is disabling auto-run enough to protect against malicious code from removable media automatically infecting a machine?

If I block auto-run on a windows machine, is this enough to protect it from malicious code (assuming I don't run any files manually)? Or are there known vulnerabilities that may cause infection?
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Am I protected from USB autorun malware on Windows 7?

As far as I know, the autorun.inf problem (the possibility of automatically executing code when a USB stick is plugged in) was solved through Windows Updates for XP, and on 7 it is no longer possible ...
8
votes
1answer
255 views

Cons of disabling live CD in bios

It has been suggested that for security reasons it's a good idea to change the boot order to prevent booting from a live CD or USB. But if you lose the passwords to unlock hard drive and bios, and you ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Using linux to combat windows flash drive malware?

I just put an old flash drive which i used with a windows machine into my linux. I noticed many files, mostly exes which were never visible in windows (my windows does not hide hidden files and ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Browsing on a USB OS (Linux) safe from malware?

Let's say I have a computer. It's a personal computer - the one you'd typically find in homes. In this scenario, it's running Windows XP SP3, although it could run 7, Vista, etc. I have a USB drive ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Changing policy to allow USB drives. Why should I try to stop it?

We are currently in the process of allowing USB memory sticks, but with a stricter policy. Some key points in the policy is: Any confidential data stored on the USB drive has to be encrypted Always ...
7
votes
2answers
886 views

Recently had a virus, can I use backed up files on clean system?

I had to reinstall my OS (windows) recently due to a virus. I backed up my source files onto a flash drive. How can I get to those files without problems? I know flash drives can have nasty things in ...
6
votes
7answers
5k views

Physical computer security, how to disable USB ports when the computer is 'locked'?

Lets say my PC & server is in an environment where a theoretical attacker has physical access to the machine while I'm not there. Now the data is encrypted on the hard drive with TrueCrypt. ...
6
votes
6answers
665 views

How to protect data on a thumb drive

So I had a scare this past week (couldn't find my thumb drive) and figured I'd better put in some protection on my thumb drive. What is the best way to encrypt the data on the thumb drive? I am a ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

SSD (Flash Memory) security when data is encrypted in place

I'm surveying current techniques on flash memory security. I've learned that the non-in-place update of flash memories prevent us from adapting the same encryption techniques that we used on hard ...
6
votes
1answer
326 views

Can malicious code be contained outside the filesystem on a USB drive?

I've personally seen it recommended that every time a user inserts a USB thumb drive into a computer, that the thumb drive be scanned for potential malware and malicious code. However, if all that's ...
6
votes
2answers
150 views

Mac OSX: What is the safest way to access an unknown USB storage?

Let's say a friend gives me a SD-card which I'm not sure is safe (i.e. it may contain malware), what is the safest way to access this card on a Mac OSX? E.g. Is it possible to create a sandbox in ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any way to write-protect a USB or hide its contents from deletion without hardware modifications?

Data on external storage devices are not secure, I understand that. Despite hardware modifications they can still be hacked etc. However files can be hidden (steganography) or encrypted. I'm ...
5
votes
3answers
476 views

Live Linux which does not mount any hard drive in the computer

I am searching for a Linux System which runs from a CD and does not mount any hard drive of the computer. I want to prevent any possiblity to write something on the hard drive of the computer and on ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Securing USB flash drive on linux

We have a industrial system(running on linux) with a USB port. We have the USB port only for copying certain data. Other than this we don't want the USB drive to contain any other executables or ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

How to scan USB drive with clamav on Linux

Is there a way to scan the entire drive including auto-run and all partitions, including the master boot record (MBR)?
5
votes
7answers
863 views

Safe to connect to external drive?

A customer provided an external drive (USB 2.0 and Firewire 800 connections), and wants me to copy files onto the drive. The drive is not new. I have no particular reason to suspect the customer ...
4
votes
5answers
411 views

Removable storage solution

Background: My organization has to find a removable storage solution. However, it is my understanding that the DOD is pretty strict about flash drives due to security considerations. Question: My ...
4
votes
1answer
192 views

What role does a PC play when transferring from one attached usb-drive to another?

I recently attached two usb-sticks of colleagues to my laptop and transferred a file from one to the other. The file was sensitive and was not supposed to be copied to my PC. Never mind the ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Cleaning pendrive without infecting

I'm using Ubuntu without ever (knowingly) having had any virus issues. Recently I put a usb pen in a computer in a print shop, and their Windows machine told me that it was infected. I would like to ...
4
votes
3answers
194 views

How to use a found USB key safely

I found a USB drive while riding the subway and I want to read it to see if I can return it back to it's owner. If I can't find any info on the stick, I'll use it for my own means. Assuming I have a ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it possible to restrict USB keys to only certified ones, and block that key's access on other computers

I am working on security for an organisation, we have purchased some encrypted USB keys but wanted to stop any employees leaking data. is there any way to stop their laptop accepting any key but the ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

How safe are CD's for Air Gapped computers?

It is often suggested, for air-gapped PC's, to use CD/DVD's as a transfer medium between machines instead of USB sticks or portable hard-drives as it is difficult to write data to a CD/DVD without the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How to secure usb data storage of Android phones?

I just found out that if I connect my phone to a laptop with a cable, the password becomes completely USELESS. So how can I protect the data in my phone from a usb cable? It's actually very easy to ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Securing my USB flash drive with Truecrypt and FreeOTFE

I want to know if I encrypt my flash with Truecrypt "Encrypt a non-system partition/drive" option and then mount it and then make a container with FreeOTFE on the Truecrypt encrypted drive and then ...
3
votes
3answers
421 views

Are USB thumb drives inherently more dangerous than other removable media? Why?

The general consensus I hear among security professionals is that USB drives are dangerous. In most organizations (that I have worked at), USB drives are either forbidden or employees are required to ...
3
votes
3answers
646 views

Encrypting passwords?

I am planning on creating a text file to store my passwords, so I only need to remember 1 password (at the moment, I have about 20 long/complex passwords in my mind, and am worried that I might forget ...
3
votes
3answers
611 views

Are there known hacks or security problems on broadband USB dongles?

USB broadband dongles seem to be common everywhere now though I'm not sure what the most widely accepted name for them is. In case I'm using poor terminology I'm referring to USB sticks which contain ...
2
votes
5answers
506 views

How to restrict flash drives in Local Area Network

It is prohibited to use USB drives at our office, due to security reasons. But some people still use them to steal information. It is now a great risk factor at our office. Now we need to ensure any ...
2
votes
6answers
5k views

Hardware USB Key to Reset Any Windows Password

This tool requires physical access of course, and there are many things you can do once you have physical access, but this peaked my curiosity. The tool in question: ...
2
votes
3answers
395 views

How hard it would be to infect a system with malware through a portable web browser

If I use a portable web browser on a USB device like Google Chrome Portable how hard it would be to get infected by a malware/virus in the system to which the USB device is connected? Google Chrome ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

is it possible to create a login “key” out of a USB drive?

I was recently thinking about keeping my computer secure from physical access, and i decided that the safest way to keep my data under lock and key, was to do just that: Create a lock and key out of a ...
2
votes
3answers
255 views

Can a USB device read data from the internal HD of a PC when it's turned off?

I have heard on TV (tg5) that some devices exist, that can be connected to a USB port on a PC that is turned off and get data from the hard disk. I am wondering if (and if so how) this is possible; ...
2
votes
2answers
224 views

Physically Blocking All PC Ports?

I've got a laptop that is currently 'Air Gapped' that I want to further secure by locking down the USB ports and NIC. I've disabled the NIC from the BIOS, removed the WiFi and bluetooth modules. But I ...
2
votes
2answers
50 views

ByPass usb GPO with iphone -and probably other mobile-

So I am running pentest on a device running Win7 and admin user set group policy to disable all mass storage devices and all usb's. I have access to local user without privs. Although my usb stick ...
2
votes
2answers
216 views

Using EncFS on a USB drive

I am using EncFS with a USB drive. How secure is this if my USB drive gets stolen? I ask because the .encfs6.xml file is saved in the USB drive and I can open it with a normal text editor. Do I ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Is the following environment contained?

I would like to make sure that my working environment is contained (prevent data leaks meaning I don't want temp file or traces from files I have worked on). I am about to create a usb key with the ...
2
votes
2answers
545 views

How to make a certificate encrypted flash drive?

I was wondering if it possible to encrypt a flash drive (or any other external medium) using certificates instead of a password. The idea is to have a number of encrypted pendrives that can be used on ...
2
votes
1answer
574 views

Encryption key token

How to securely store an encryption key in USB drive? Here is my idea. I would like to write a program (let's say PC) and it will store data to a database encrypted at the record level or field level, ...
2
votes
3answers
102 views

Simple methods of preventing infection from external drives

What are some simple methods of preventing my computer from being infected by USB drives and other storage devices? I'm not asking for any bullet-proof methods, just something that can prevent ...
2
votes
3answers
512 views

Is there such thing as a password enforced write protected flash drive?

We would like to provide a flash drive to a client, that they can boot to, which includes a read-only operating system of our own customization, probably Linux. Every boot, it starts from clean slate. ...
2
votes
0answers
938 views

What is a self-contained cross-platform encryption for USB drive? [closed]

I'm trying to find self-contained encryption solution for USB drives while at the same time being platform independent. For example, Windows' BitLocker only works on Windows and not on OS X or Linux. ...
1
vote
3answers
198 views

What is the safest way to copy a file from an untrusted system?

Scenario: There are two computers running GNU/Linux, U and T. U is untrusted and T is trusted. A non-executable file F (which may however have been infected with malware) resides on U. (For ...
1
vote
3answers
334 views

Is the aggregate severity rating of “Important” for MS13-027 too low?

The Security Bulletin states that the "Maximum Security Impact" is "Elevation of Privilege"; however, the SRD blog post says code execution is possible. Additionally, SRD says "Other software that ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Portable KeePass and TrueCrypt

I ran some advice on the nets: Don't reuse your passwords. Make sure all the passwords you use are different. Use a password manager. An example is "Keepass". Set the master password to something ...