It’s never been a good idea to plug random USB drives into your personal computer, but now the threat is even more severe.
“It’s gotten even more dangerous to use these devices if you don’t know where they came from,” Ken Colburn, founder and CEO of Data Doctors, said.
Some hackers are purposely infecting and strategically dropping these USB drives in places where people are likely to pick them up.
These criminals bank on human curiosity — assuming you will plug the drive in to see what’s on it. But what’s on it could be a virus strong enough to steal your information even when the computer is locked.
“We’re seeing more and more of these high level sophisticated attacks being created to take advantage of the fact people are more likely to put these things in than not,” Colburn said.
Many of the exploits are too sophisticated to be stopped by normal anti-virus software, and go mostly undetected from the normal computer user.
The golden rule here: If you don’t know where the USB drive came from — don’t plug it in.