29.4 C
Australia
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Malware-infected USB sticks posted to Australian homes

Must Read

Genius Christmas cheat a win-win

Want to make your Christmas much more relaxing and support our ailing economy at the same time? You should seriously consider this win-win...

Missing Queensland child could be on island

QLD Police believe a missing 13-year-old boy could be with “associates” in the Wellington Point area or visiting an island in Redland Bay.There...

USB sticks containing harmful malware have been left in Australian letterboxes, police in Victoria have warned.

Residents of Pakenham, a suburb of Melbourne, have reportedly found the unmarked sticks in the boxes.

Plugging them into a computer triggers fraudulent media-streaming service offers, as well as other malware, the force said in a statement.

The devices are “extremely harmful” and should not be used, police say.

It is not uncommon for USB sticks to be used to carry and transmit destructive malware and viruses to computers.

Cybersecurity experts have called the technology “critically flawed”, and in 2014 demonstrated to the BBC how any USB device could be used to infect a computer without the user’s knowledge.

Berlin-based researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell said a device that appeared to be completely empty could still contain a virus.

Stuxnet, one of the most sophisticated known pieces of malware, was deployed to attack Iranian nuclear centrifuges. It is believed to have been carried on an infected USB stick.

The virus infected the internal network of computers running Windows, and attacked Siemens industrial control software in order to over-ride the system.

Andrew Tierney, consultant at cybersecurity firm Pen Test Partners, said the use of infected USB sticks to target households was very rare.

“However, it’s still a common form of attacking businesses, where the gains are much greater,” he said.

“Most cybercriminals are looking for volume, so it’s much easier to get hold of people’s information by phishing. It’s unclear whether the devices were sent in the post, but putting a USB stick in someone’s letterbox by visiting the property and potentially getting your fingerprints on them creates a much greater risk of getting caught.”

The University of Illinois conducted an experiment earlier this year, dropping 297 USB drives around its campus. Had the sticks been infected, the attack would have had an estimated success rate of between 45% and 98%, the study found.

“You’d be surprised at how many people would fall for plugging an unknown USB stick into their computer. Some users may become distrustful at the stage only when the software asks them to download a program, but Word files can still be harmful,” said Mr Tierney.

Online Source

The Indian Telegrpah Sydney Australia

Latest News

Kununurra: Drone captures crocodile versus shark at WA fishing spot

A drone has captured a massive crocodile intimidating a bull shark just metres away from people fishing and swimming in WA’s far north.Drone...

Zac Kirkup: First-term MP becomes WA Liberal Party leader

A first-term MP will lead the WA Liberal Party to the March state election after his more experienced opponent dropped out of the...

Mark Barford allegedly wrapped gun, placed it under Christmas tree

It is alleged a bikie wrapped up a loaded gun and placed it under a Christmas tree then ordered his son to hide...

WNBL: Adelaide Lightning faces stern test with Olympic-style schedule

Adelaide’s five-time WNBL champion Rachael Sporn is backing the Lightning to overcome a full-on schedule after being forced into quarantine.Adelaide’s five-time WNBL champion...

Man charged for pointing laser at SA Police helicopter at Woodcroft

Police in the air and on the ground worked together to locate a man allegedly shining a laser in the direction of the...