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Thread: Fake USB Flash Drives

  1. #1
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Fake USB Flash Drives

    I've come across more than one large capacity USB flash drive recently which is in reality half the memory size or less than it's supposed to be.

    The latest one I've come across also had several virusses pre-loaded. It was not name branded and was acquired from a street vendor. It had a sticker on it saying it was supposed to be 8gb and had 2 executables in the root along with an autorun inf file to execute them. Luckily I have autorun disabled on all my machines for exactly this reason and my AV immediately went bezerk begging and pleading to quarantine the contents. One of the executables is scripted primarily as a keylogger, the other I'm not too sure about but it's probably an svchost. The drive has a low level hack applied to it causing it to show as a 8gig capacity on Linux and Windows OS. Windows native disk utilities reformatting or reinitialization makes no difference to it's reported size.

    I made a tool adapting a delete program I wrote which makes a file in the root and fills it with asterisks to securely overwrite any residual data on the drive. It picked up that the actual drive size is slightly under 4gb before write failure occurred.

    The bottom line is that these flash drives are a security risk as well as an out and out con. Saying that, it actually cost considerably less than a 4 gig stick is generally available for at retail prices so depending how you look at it, it might not be a con.

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    Dave S (02-Aug-10), garthu (01-Aug-10)

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned, I will never buy no-name brand hardware. I've had too many bad experiences with them. Despite the chance of it being a con like you have mentioned, they are more often than not slower and do not last nearly as long as the more trusted brands do. On the whole anyway.

    I bought myself a Kingston 8gb flash and I've never looked back!
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    Gold Member garthu's Avatar
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    One of the executables is scripted primarily as a keylogger
    Thats fairly scary, thanks for the heads up on that. Amazing how these guys come up with this stuff to get access to your pc!
    Garth

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garthu View Post
    Thats fairly scary, thanks for the heads up on that. Amazing how these guys come up with this stuff to get access to your pc!
    I'm sure they get a pretty good hit-rate. Most people have blind trust of new equipment being clean and Kosher and it's not unusual to find a whole host of legitimate executable files on a new external drive or flash drive.

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