Short Bytes: A recent study has suggested that people are inclined towards popping any random USB stick into their computers without a second thought. Interestingly, the Aussie hackers are exploiting this habit by putting malicious USB sticks in people’s mailboxes. The local cops have warned the residents of these devices and urged them to inform the police if such incident takes place.
hat are you going to do if you find a USB stick in your mailbox? It’s not surprising that you’ll plug it in your laptop as soon as possible. This human behaviour has been confirmed in a recent study at the University of Illinois.
The students, who conducted the study, found that about half of 297 USB drives placed randomly around the campus were picked and used. It looks like the Australian hackers have taken some inspiration from the study and decided to exploit people’s naivety.
Recently, the police from Victoria, in an announcement, warned the residents of malicious USB drives placed in their mailboxes. Here’s what Victoria Police Department wrote in the notice:
Police are urging residents in Pakenham to be wary following reports last week of corrupt USB flash drives being left in residential letterboxes. Members of the public are allegedly finding unmarked USB drives in their letterboxes.
Upon inserting these malicious USB drives, the users are plagued with disguising and fraud media streaming service offers. The cops in the area have labeled these thumb-sized devices as “extremely harmful”, causing “serious issues”.
The Police department has also shared a picture of USB drives similar to those being distributed by the hackers. They’ve also urged the residents to contact the police and submit a report if they receive such mail.
Such means of spreading malware isn’t new. Cybercriminals are known to deploy similar techniques to fool unsuspecting users and steal their sensitive information.
So, I’ll ask again–What will you do if you receive a USB drive in your mail?
Yes. Burn it. Destroy it.