Increase USB Security With USB Cop

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 16, 2009
Updated • Mar 26, 2012
Security, Software, Windows

The Autorun feature is a big security risk on the Windows operating system. It is a risk even if you are the only person accessing the computer. Remember the Sony rootkit incident a while ago? Guess how Sony managed to install the rootkit on the computer system? Autorun can be disabled in Windows and this is probably the way to go for most users.

There is however another solution in the form of the USB security software USB Cop which has been uploaded to Sourceforge yesterday. USB Cop blocks all attempts to run an autorun.inf file on the computer system. It will instead display the contents of the file to the user giving a recommendation what the user should do with it.

Available options are to browse the contents of the disk or to close the dialog without performing an action. The interface itself will display all entries that are located in the autorun.inf file.

The option to execute the autorun.inf file is normally missing from the available options. What this application currently does is block all attempts of running an autorun.inf file on the computer system. The only difference between disabling that option in Windows and using the software is the ability to browse and see the contents of the autorun.inf file a bit faster and automatic with the software. In reality it would simply mean a few additional clicks for the same result without running a software in the background all the time.

The software itself uses about 4.5 Megabytes of computer memory while running.

Update: Development has continued in recent years, the latest version of the program, dubbed USB Cop 1.0 Alpha 1, has been uploaded to the Sourceforge servers in March 2011. It is definitely an alternative for inexperienced users who want recommendations what they should do when they insert a disc or stick with autorun information.


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  1. Raj said on February 21, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Trinfin eS-Vault product has great feature of securing the USB content

  2. techbuzzard said on February 19, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Well, you can also use USB Firewall which also searches for autorun.inf file when you plug in an usb device. It sits on your system tray and takes a watch on the usb devices.

  3. hipsterdoofus said on February 17, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    You could do the same thing in local security policy without installing software.

  4. raveren said on February 17, 2009 at 9:16 am

    A great trick I use is to create a FOLDER named autorun.inf in the root of the flash stick.

    Doing so prevents certain viruses from infected computers I stick my usb in to spread, as viruses create autorun.inf files automatically, but fail to do so if there is a similarly named directory already there. It does not prevent infecting the usb itself though.

  5. dwarf_toss said on February 16, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Disabling autorun is a must-do. Mostly for the simple reason that I absolutely hate popups, and don’t always want to handle media a certain way every time it’s detected.

    That said, I’d have little use for this, but it’s heart is certainly in the right place. Good on the creators for filling a needed security niche.

  6. Dante said on February 16, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I think the new Vista’s User Access Control does about the same function. But for anyone using XP or older, this is a definite must. Unless you have a registry protecting anti-virus software.

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