Note: The program has not
One common strategy to infect a computer is to use the autorun information of a removable drive, most likely an USB device, to infect the computer as soon as the user double-clicks the drive.
If the computer is protected by antivirus software the attack will most likely be stopped in its tracks but the manipulated autorun.inf file on the USB device will more often than not remain untouched.
Here is a short explanation if you have never heard of autorun.inf files before: It contains information about files and processes that are automatically executed when a disk is inserted or double-clicked.
Autorun is often confused with autoplay but they are not the same. Autorun is directly related to the autorun.inf file on the disk while autoplay automatically reacts to new devices or media, for example a music CD is automatically played in Windows when inserted.
Autorun Eater takes care of any autorun.inf files before it can be executed on the system. This is done my actively monitoring the system in real time. It will automatically remove suspicious autorun.inf files and store them in a secure location so that it can be restored if the need should arise.
I know that some of you do not like to run a lot of programs in the background which is also my preferred way.
It is possible to disable the autorun.inf system wide which is the only protection that works flawlessly. The common Registry keys NoDriveAutoRun and NoDriveTypeAutoRun do not eliminate the dangers of autorun.inf files. When properly configured they prevent that the autorun.inf file on USB devices gets executed automatically but it will still be executed when a user double-clicks the drive.
The only real autorun.inf protection which disables it completely is the following Registry setting. Just copy the following lines into a text document and name it auto.reg.
Update: The most recent version of Autorun Eater introduces new options such as a malware scan option that uses Microsoft's Security Essentials for that.
Double-click that file and restart your computer afterwards. Autorun should now be disabled for all drives on your system.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.