Panda launches free USB Vaccine

Panda Security, the global IT security vendor, has launched Panda USB Vaccine, a free security solution designed to block malware which spreads through removable drives such as flash drives, CD/DVDs and MP3 players. This free tool can be downloaded here.

“There is an increasing amount of malware which, like the notorious Conficker worm, spreads via removable devices and drives such as memory sticks, MP3 players and digital cameras,” says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations. He says that cybercrooks are taking advantage of the way these devices work: “Windows uses the Autorun.inf file on these drives or devices to know which action to take when they are connected to the computer. This file, which is on the root directory of the device, offers the option to define a programme to automatically run part of the content stored on the device when it connects to the computer.” This feature, he explains, is being used by cyber-crooks to spread viruses, through the modification of Autorun.inf with commands that result in the malware stored on the USB drive running automatically when the device connects to a computer. This will immediately infect the computer in question.

To prevent the infection of computers through this technique, Panda’s free Panda USB Vaccine offers a double layer of preventive protection, allowing users to disable the AutoRun feature on computers as well as on USB drives and other devices. “This is a very useful tool as there is no easy way of disabling the AutoRun feature in Windows. It makes it much simpler for users, offering a high level of security against infections through removable drives and devices,” concludes Matthews.

To download the free tool, click here.

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