FBI Warns Firms Over Malware-Riddled USB Sticks

If you received a free USB stick in the post, would you put it into your PC? – It’s honestly a tricky question to answer. While many of us ‘in the know’ would clearly recognise this as a potentially very bad idea, and particularly so if we were uncertain about the unsolicited source, they’d still be an element of temptation to try it out if only for the curiosity as to what might be on it, and more so, what kind of capacity it might have. Free is free after all!

Following a report via Gizmodo, however, the FBI has official an official warning, specifically to companies, as they have found that malware-riddled USB sticks are again making the rounds!

FBI Warns of Malware USB Scams!

The scam itself is honestly rather straightforward. Coming under the guise of a free gift, and sometimes purporting to be from a seemingly legitimate source, the hope is that the unwitting recipient will immediately slap the USB stick into their system without question.

With this fresh rise reportedly being coordinated by the infamous hacking group “FIN7”, while you do technically get a free USB stick, the problem is that once inserted, it’s often programmed to immediately start installing malware onto your system.

Beware of Literal Trojan Horses!

As noted above, this type of malware scam isn’t new. In fact, in many instances, and on the more individual level, it was often the practice to literally scatter these malware USB sticks around office building locations in the hope that an unwitting employee would see it lying on the pavement, pick it up, and try it out on their PC/laptop. – This new scam, however, does seem to be tapping into the COVID-19 situation as many of the deliveries often guise themselves as the stick containing useful information on the subject. Other sources have also cited that the packaging indicates that this is representative of some kind of free promotional gift from Amazon.

The bottom line though is if you ever randomly find a USB, do not insert it into any kind of important system. If curiosity gets the better of you, at least start by putting it into an old laptop you don’t use anymore. – While this scam is hardly original, it’s one that, sadly, still seems to consistently claim victims. If, for no other reason, than the fact that we apparently just can’t resist something free!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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