22 September 2016

Free USB devices could be vectors for malware, Check Point warns

Source: Victoria Police. The unmarked USB drives used are similar to these.
Source: Victoria Police. The unmarked USB drives used are similar to these.
On 21 September the police in Victoria, advised residents of Melbourne suburb Pakenham to be wary of USB flash drives left in their mailboxes.

"Members of the public are allegedly finding unmarked USB drives in their letterboxes. Upon inserting the USB drives into their computers victims have experienced fraudulent media streaming service offers, as well as other serious issues. The USB drives are believed to be extremely harmful and members of the public are urged to avoid plugging them into their computers or other devices," Victoria police said in a statement.

Check Point Software has commented on the phenomenon. "Hacking by USB devices are not new, and can wreck serious or fatal damage to computers (including holding users' data at ransom), or embed malware to infect the computers as zombie/attack hosts, potentially even landing users in legal trouble. While this form of attack has not been seen blatantly in Singapore yet, it would make sense to educate the public on how to avoid such risks, especially since some may succumb to the temptation of getting a 'free' USB device. What's worse, such attacks can also target business mailboxes, putting businesses at jeopardy should unsuspecting corporate users plug in such devices," a Check Point spokesperson said.


Anyone with information about those behind the scam is urged to contact Crime Stoppers in Australia on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online