Hey! A free USB stick!

If you came across a USB stick dropped in the parking lot, would you plug it into your work machine to see what was on it? What if there were several USB sticks sitting on a CTS break room table with a sign that says “Free – Take Me!”?

Many pieces of malware specifically look to infect USB sticks in hopes that you will plug them into an uninfected computer. This malware can then infect that machine and even try to attack others through the local network.

Malware can also infect a USB stick you already own and infect all the files on it. This means that if you take a USB stick from your home machine and bring it to work to use, you can infect the CTS network by simply opening your most recent document. Recently, our state has encountered such malware and it took several dedicated employees several weeks to clean up the virus outbreak.

Remember to not plug in unknown USB sticks into your work machine and to have thumb drives dedicated for home and others for work.