Snail mail delivers USB keys … WTF?

Dilbert dirty USB key

I find I’m writing a second article about Evil USBs within a week. At least these ones don’t destroy your equipment, but they might infect you with nasty software that does things that you really wouldn’t want it doing.

In this case, in Victoria, Australia, Evil Doers were dropping USB drives into people’s mailboxes. The report from Victoria Police stated:

Upon inserting the USB drives into their computers victims have experienced fraudulent media streaming service offers, as well as other serious issues.

The USB drives are believed to be extremely harmful and members of the public are urged to avoid plugging them into their computers or other devices.

That reference to other serious issues, is quite likely a Ransomware incident, where all of the files and folders on the victim’s machine gets scrambled and they have to pay the bad guys good money to get their data back.

A 2015 study conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Illinois, the University of Michigan and Google revealed that nearly half of people would not only plug a USB drive they’ve found on the ground into their PCs, but would also open files and click on unfamiliar links.

Now in this study’s case, the USB sticks were dropped on the ground and people’s reasoning behind accessing the memory sticks was generally for the altruistic purpose of identifying it’s owner in order to return the device to them.

In this new case in Australia, the devices come wrapped in plastic, so would appear to be brand new devices, just left in by some generous benefactor. 

 Look folks, it really is simple. As I stated in my 9th Commandment – Thou shalt never insert nor allow to be inserted, a USB memory stick that thy hath never had complete control of since it was removed from its packaging.
Now in this case you could be forgiven for thinking they are still in their packaging. The packaging I refer to was coming from a retail or on-line store.
But really, somebody is just going to drop a USB memory stick in your mailbox because … what …

  • You’re a good customer? (of whom?)
  • You deserve it? (why?)
  • It was a mistake (it wasn’t!)

You don’t get stuff for free without a good reason. Just fu… fire this stuff in the bin and get on with your life.
And let’s be careful out there.