Gather round everyone for a tale of woe.
So I loaned one of my many USB keys to Fiona to backup some of our photos to print at a BigW, Mt Gravatt to be precise. I had cleared everything off and handed it over to her to copy over the photos. We tried it in a local BigW (Mt Ommaney) on Saturday but couldn't find a station that worked properly, we managed to get a few photos printed, but Fiona kept the key to see if she could get them printed elsewhere.
Off she trotted to Mt Gravatt BigW on Monday after she dropped the kids at kindy, she printed out the photos and thought nothing of it. Wednesday night I decided I should move my files back, I plugged the USB key in and noticed among the photos a hiden autorun.inf... Not usual for me to have leave that there, a quick read of it in text editor let me see it was trying to run RECYCLER\S-1-5-21-1482476501-1644491937-682003330-1013\driver.exe scanning the file with clamwin let me know it was Trojan.Poison-36 (it goes by other names, trojan.killav is Symantecs name) a nasty little phone home trojan that was only discovered recently (9/06/10), that uses the usual trick of infecting attached drives with the autorun.inf trick. It also then goes on to try and kill av programs and then once that is done download other malware, see here
I was safe due to my self inflicted draconian software restriction policy, and Fiona who had plugged it in to her laptop was safe due to it being an exe and her running Linux.
So I notified BigW back on the 30th, I think for something so little, I have given them reasonable disclosure. It is something they could have designed against, by using a software restriction policy, or simply making the USB devices read only via policy, or hey you know Antivirus that at least occasionally gets updated...
I was and still am tempted to put my own little exe and autorun on a key to see if the kiosks are still vulnerable, but Fiona has advised against it, my little voice of reason.
My problem with this issue, is that there seems to be little design that has gone into a system that thousands of people probably use a week, and little concern for users of these systems, how many people are going to get home and infect their systems, how many are going to not realise it was due to the dodgy kiosk they used and then blame the internert, Microsoft, or their kids. I am not a big fan of misplaced blame.
Not really much news here, viruses are a part of life. But with most modern USB keys no longer having the nice little feature of a read only switch, there is little you can do to protect yourself. You could try having an autorun.inf on your key that is marked read only, that may work unless the virus knows how to overwrite it.