Thursday, January 28, 2010

Protect Your Computer From Viruses In Pen Drives ??

You must have had some annoying moments with USB pen drives viruses at some point of your life. Its so frequent that its considered to be normal by some. So how can we protect ourselves from this chronic irritation? I know nothing is fool proof, but with better tactics and preventions, you can save a lot of time and important data inside your pen drive once and for all.

How a virus in your pen drive infects?
Most of the active viruses infect your windows system as soon as you double click on the Pen Drive icon in your my computer. As virus always creates a autorun.inf file which is a system ,hidden and a read only file on your pen drive. It point to the main virus file which is also located on the pen drive. When user double clicks on the pen drive files pointed by the autorun.inf got executed which copies the virus files on your system.

The image below shows the Autorun file entries in some special characters when you right click on the drive.

How to protect Your Pen Drive from Viruses?
Let’s see how can we protect by following certain practices as below:

1. Disable Autorun on Your Pen Drive:
Open to Start >> Run and type “gpedit.msc” (without quotes) and press enter. This will open Group policy editor.

Browse to Administrative templates >> System >> double click on Turn off Autoplay click on Enabled and Under Settings >> Select All Drives in the drop down and click OK (as shown in the image below)

2. Scan Your Pen Drive:
Whenever you insert your pen drive / portable drive into USB port on your system make sure to run a virus scan with your anti virus before opening your pen drive contents in windows explorer.

3. Use FreeCommander:
FreeCommander is again a file explorer like windows explorer, so you just need to download it by clicking HERE and install it. After installing open your pen drive through FreeCommander (as shown in the image below)

Check if there are some additional files like autorun.inf , Funny UST Scandal.avi.exe, Ravmon.exe ,New Folder.exe etc or any other file which you have not copied or created, delete all these suspicious files on your pen drive.

4. Make Use of Software Restriction Policy:
Use software restriction policy in group policy. This one can only be used in WINXP Pro and Vista Permium and the higher. You can restrict the access of all the programs or executable files in USB pendrive through this policy.

When you want to access the executable files you are sure of no harm, you can turn off the restriction. This is a wonderful way to protect your pen drive from viruses.

5. Another Way:
Just insert your pen drive in the USB port, now a autorun window(usually it includes Open to view Files and Take no action options) will open to choose the program that will run your pen drive but just ignore it by clicking the Cancel button right after the OK button.

Now go to Start > Run and type cmd to open the Command Prompt window. Now go to My Computer and Check the Drive letter of your USB drive or Pen Drive.(If it is written Kingston(I:), then I: will be the drive letter)
In the Command Window(cmd), type the drive letter(as above is I:) and now hit enter. Then type the dir/w/o/a/p and Hit Enter.

Now you will get a list of files that are in your pen drive. In the list, search if anyone of the following do exist.
New Folder.exe
RVHost.exe or any other files with .exe Extension.

If you find any one of the file names as above, Run the command attrib -h -r -s -a *.* and Hit Enter. Now Delete each File using the following Command del filename.

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