The seriousness of pen-drive viruses and their ignorance: Simple steps to protect yourself

I have seen to many people ignorant of the fact that their pen-drives (usb key, usb disk) have been contaminated by viruses that have been copied by them unknowingly! How? And why didn’t their antivirus detect them? Some do not even know until their computers start becoming slow and more… Let me explain easy ways to detect and protect yourself…

The first thing you will notice if you have such usb-spreading-viruses (they come in different flavours e.g. ckvo, amvo…) is that when you double-click on a drive in My Computer (yes, Linux and MacOS users are safe.. so far). If the drive opens in a new window, it means you have the virus! So rule number 1: Always use the folder tree view to select a drive in My Computer. Why, because when you double click on a drive, it executes a windows file called autorun.inf on that drive. That file can execute any file specified in that drive. It’s like you’re literally opening the door to anyone knocking! Or you might want to turn off Autorun on your computer.

Next thing is to prevent that virus from spreading if ever the above happened by accident. To do this, rule number 2, you need a proper Firewall. I use Comodo Personal Firewall and it’s really efficient – doesn’t slow down your computer, and tells you every time suspicious programs attempt to write to disk or to use the internet (you’d even catch key-loggers).

Your antivirus might not necessarily be able to detect these issues, e.g. I have used Norton/Symantec and McAfee Viruscan. They gave me such a headache, especially by using 200MB+ memory, deleting my whole mailbox and preventing me from running Thinstall applications… Rule number 3 have a good anvirus: the bests I have found are Avast Home and AVG Free. Free and efficient and fast.

Common sources for this virus in Mauritius are the many schools, some universities and some offices where adequate measures have not been taken. Also the internet, when you browse underground sites especially using Internet Explorer. So rule number 4, do not use Internet Explorer 6.

Now what if you already have these viruses, how to remove them? That’s the big hurdle. There are steps that you can find many sites, if you search  ‘removing ckvo.’ I’ll write another post for that soon…


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2 Comments (+add yours)

  1. Yashvin
    Jun 24, 2010 @ 18:12:43

    U need to stick copies of this post in school, colleges, university computer labs 😛

  2. ash
    Jun 24, 2010 @ 22:53:06

    well said!

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