Protecting Your USB – 1 : Detecting viruses at a glance
This is Part one of the USB Infection Prevention Series…..
Scenario : You own a pendrive and wont it be great if you could just identify at a glance whether it has been infected or not.
Solution : Nowadays, most of the viruses/worms spread via USB drives so if your USB drive is infected and if you double-click it to open it… BOOM Your PC is infected. Unless your AntiVirus is updated till date, you don’t have any means to identify whether there exists an infection in your USB drive. Even if your AntiVirus IS updated, chances are that the virus/worm is a new one and your AntiVirus doesn’t have any record of it. So how do you decide whether your USB drive’s infected or not without relying on your AntiVirus ?? Its a simple enough method and tells you at a glance(literally) whether your pendrive is infected or not. Read on…
1. Download/create/extract an icon (*.ico) file. (Google is your Friend!!)
Note : It has to be an icon(.ico) file.
2. Open notepad and write the following code in it :
Save it as “autorun.inf”
3. Now copy both the icon file and autorun.inf to your Pendrive.
4.As an added measure….so that you do not accidentally delete the files, set the properties of both files to hidden.
5. To see the effect…..you will need to Disconnect and reconnect your USB. Now Check whether the icon appears or not. If it doesn’t, the icon names in the code and of the file probably don’t match .
After this, As long as your USB remains uninfected, you will see the icon as the icon of your PD in My Computer. But when your USB gets infected, the icon will disappear (or will be changed). This is because for the virus/worm to spread itself into the hard drive, it has to create an “autorun.inf” file. This file modifies the existing one.. thus preventing the icon and telling you about the infection. So, now instead of double-clicking to open the drive, open it by using the Folder option . Also make sure to put the original autorun file back in the drive.
See how easy it is to identify viruses….just at a glance……