tumbdrive, data. Photo: Josh Valcarcel/WIRED

Hackers evolve. They create new techniques and malwares, in order to make a successful attack and extract the crucial information that they’re looking for. Now, besides the traditional attacks that most users are aware of, a new kind of attack has been found, through a USB.

Here is a potentially realistic “attack” scenario: An unsuspecting user inserts a USB stick on his computer. The antivirus software approves the device. But in reality, the Stick is being manipulated in order to function as a LAN card. The computer then thinks that it has to transfer all the data through this LAN card.

Even though this new method has been spotted mostly in the States and some parts of China, it does not mean that it cannot be spread in zero time.

In fact, this method, according to specialists, is particularly dangerous as that way hackers can gain access to the whole data flow of a computer. Also, if a hacker has modified the USB in such a way, he gains immediate access to the stolen information without even having to get the stick back. A simple internet connection is more than enough.

Some researchers on the internet and system security field from a German company, made a presentation of how a suspicious malware can hide in tiny chips inside a USB stick. Those chips give the ability of teleoperation, while at the same time they are not traceable.

So next time you get a used USB stick, keep an eye on the potential attack due to which you could literally lose all of your personal data in no time. The German company that made the presentation, or a research team on a relevant field, will probably soon release a security measure to stay protected from this new attack method. Until then, try to stay safe!

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