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USB Memory Sticks and executable files

penneck
Rising Star
Posts: 730
Thanks: 25
Registered: 03-08-2007

USB Memory Sticks and executable files

How can I set up my pc so that when I plug in a memory stick which has an executable file on it, that executable doesn't start automatically?
I'm asking, because apparently memory sticks with executables on them that you don't know about is one way of getting viruses onto your pc.
Thanks
8 REPLIES
RPMozley
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,117
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Registered: 04-11-2011

Re: USB Memory Sticks and executable files

You'd have to set things in the Autoplay control panel, if it's being triggered that way.
That's RPM to you!!
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
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Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: USB Memory Sticks and executable files

Which version of Windows (presumably) are you running?
penneck
Rising Star
Posts: 730
Thanks: 25
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: USB Memory Sticks and executable files

Sorry I meant to include that originally. I use Xp Pro
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
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Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: USB Memory Sticks and executable files

There is an MSKB article which might help:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/967715
If you're not comfortable editing the registry, there are a few utilities which can set the appropriate registry keys for you. Panda (who produce antivirus software) offer one such utility:
http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/downloads/usbvaccine/
I don't use that, so can't personally vouch for it, but I believe it works as both a run-once utility to set the appropriate registry keys in Windows, or optionally it can sit in the background and monitor new USB sticks. I believe that the latter is unnecessary if you "vaccinate" the Windows installation.
penneck
Rising Star
Posts: 730
Thanks: 25
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: USB Memory Sticks and executable files

I've just used your Microsoft document to guide me, and I have set up the Group Policy settings. So far so good, but does that mean that I cannot boot from my CD drive, should I ever need to?
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
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Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: USB Memory Sticks and executable files

You will still be able to launch any Autorun apps manually by double-clicking on the appropriate .exe file on the CD.
penneck
Rising Star
Posts: 730
Thanks: 25
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: USB Memory Sticks and executable files

Satisfactory result then.
Thankyou for your help
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
Thanks: 2
Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: USB Memory Sticks and executable files

There is one scenario that I think should be checked:
If you have disabled Autoplay, Windows will no longer automatically launch an app when inserting the disc. What I'm not sure about is what happens if you go into My Computer and double-click on the drive. On a totally unsecured system, this action would execute whatever has been defined in Autorun.inf, so you're not much better off. It is very easy to do this "accidentally" when you are expecting to enter a folder.
The easiest way to test this would be with a software CD which has an autorun program on it. Put it in your CD drive, and it shouldn't auto-run. Next go into My Computer and double-click on your CD drive letter. Again, nothing should run and the files/folders on the disc should be displayed instead.