BadUSB is not a malware, but an experiment that is undetectable on a flash drive. When PC users learned about it, they started asking questions whether it is safe to use flash drives and whether the cloud service is safer. According to the PC experts, the cloud service is regarded safer than the flash drive, however it has its dangers in connection with the privacy.
The situation with the BadUSB has shown the users that malware can infect and stay in the firmware of the flash drive. The problem here is that the antivirus program on the user’s PC cannot scan the main storage on the drive. The flash drive can be plugged in several computers and thus infect them with the malware.
The experiment was made to prove that such situation and infection is possible and that users should be careful about it and find a way to protect themselves. Because if the BadUSB was a malware, it could easily trick the user’s PC and make it believe it is a USB keyboard. Then it could give command to the PC to download a program that is bad for the operation system and can take over the DNS settings, sending the user to the wrong websites.
Most probably the antivirus software would catch and block the activity, yet this is not 100 % certain. That is why the best solution is for the flash drives to fix the situation. The company IronKey has stated that it uses digitally signed codes and this makes the change of the firmware impossible. In case the rest of the companies do the same, no problem will be expected with the flash drives.
Until that happens, here is what the PC users should do in order to stay protected:
- Do not share flash drives, better use the cloud service for sharing.
- Apply the general PC security rules – update your anti-virus, web protection and firewall.
- State in front of the manufacturers that you want a portable storage that is protected against BadUSB.