Cybercriminals increasingly use USB devices to victimize users

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USB products are used to conduct attacks.In an effort to proliferate their malicious software, a growing segment of cybercriminals are now using USB devices to attack unsuspecting computer users, according to security firm Avast.

PCWorld reports that 700,000 recorded attacks from last week – 12.5 percent of the total number of attacks – came from USB devices. Hackers use the AutoRun feature supported by Windows to distribute their malware as soon as computer users connect a USB device to their machines.

"AutoRun is a really useful tool, but it is also a way to spread more than two-thirds of current malware. The threat of USB-distributed malware is much more widespread than just the Stuxnet attacks on enterprise computers – which were also spread via infected memory sticks," PCWorld quotes Avast virus analyst Jan Sirmer as saying.

USB devices can be used on a number of different platforms, ranging from computers to MP3 players.

Experts agree that the most effective way to prevent infection from occurring is to purchase an anti-virus program, such as Avast, and keep the software up-to-date.

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Naveen Jain