While USB thumb drives give the convenience of portability in accessing and transferring our files, one drawback to this is the US-CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) warning of an outbreak of usb-related computer viruses, one of which is the Agent.bzt virus.
This is actually a contamination that has long been experienced way back the golden days of floppy disks and CDs. Now that the USB thumb drives are what’s used as a primary and portable storage, virus programmers and hackers have updated themselves to make a malware that works for it.
Agent.bzt is a medium level threat virus that paves way for hackers to infect computers remotely. Once they have gained full access to your system, they have all the means to obtain personal and sensitive data stored in your system, including details of your credit card or credit cards. At this point, your security is now breached because you are monitored and listened to. If they detect an open port, this gives them the opportunity they’ve been waiting for: remote manipulation of your system.
How does the Agent.bzt virus work? Well, basically, it contaminates a clean USB drive once it’s inserted to the port of an infected desktop or laptop. Hence, when this USB drive is inserted to another clean desktop or laptop, the virus can spread to other computers if the operating system on these devices has enabled the AutoRun-type feature. This particular window function launches installers and other programs upon the insertion of a flash drive or CD.
It’s for this reason that people should disable any AutoRun feature and instead, manually launch programs when using a flash drive. It’s quite deceiving because little would you know that a virus is already embedded on a seemingly normal file on a USB drive. Hence, even if you disable AutoRun, your computer would still be infected once you open the file.
It gets worse with the knowledge that thumb drives aren’t the only access ways these hackers are targeting. Any device that you can plug into a USB port are actually all possible culprits that can be used to spread malware. This includes gadgets like speakers, lights, fans and the like. Note that even during the manufacturing process of your USB, there’s still a chances of it getting infected with the viruses if quality control measures are not strict enough.
Apart from disabling AutoRun, it’s also recommended that you use an antivirus tool to scan any flash drive before opening any files from them and to always exercise caution when accessing files from these devices even if you think they come from a source that can be trusted.
But even if you’ve done all suggested measures above and still got infected with a virus, that’s when we, at Compushooter, come in. We have the technical people that can eliminate the computer viruses plus give you the means to protect yourself from falling victim to this scam again. To avail of the services we offer, do call us at 480-464-0202.