Panda Security has released a new security software program that increases the security of usb flash drives. The portable software program called USB Vaccine provides you with options to vaccinate both the computer system and USB flash drives.
Computer vaccination refers to disabling autorun completely from removable media like USB flash drives or optical drives like CD or DVD drives.
Once enabled on a system running Windows, it makes sure that the operating system is protected against programs that are automatically executed if USB flash drives are connected to the PC, or when CDs or DVDs are inserted into one of the drives.
A click on vaccinate computer will immediately disable autorun on the computer system. The USB drive vaccination option on the other hand disables autorun on the selected usb flash drive instead.
The drives have to be connected to the computer system before they can be protected, which obviously can be a problem if you need to connect a drive that you have not checked up first. Any connected USB flash drive will be listed in a pulldown menu. A click on vaccinate USB will prevent autorun from being executed from the selected USB flash drive. If you want to protect multiple drives, you need to run the operation several times, or use the built-in command line options instead.
You can run the command USBVaccine.exe F G for instance to protect the USB Flash drives on f: and g:.
It should be noted that it is not possible to undo the autorun protection of a selected USB flash drive in the computer system using the security software. Another limitation is that it will only work on USB flash drives that have been formatted with the FAT or FAT32 file system.
Panda Research USB Vaccine increases the security of a computer system in regards to USB flash drives and other media with autorun capabilities. The security software has been tested under Windows Vista, Windows XP and even Windows 2000. It should run on newer versions of Windows as well, but has not been tested on those.
The program has not been updated since 2009. While that does not necessarily affect the program's effectiveness, it's not really reassuring on the other hand.
USB Drive Vaccination is still a thing if you work with older copies of Windows. If you run Windows 7 or newer, you may not need it anymore autorun files on USB devices won't use any key but label and icon. This is not the case for autorun on optical discs though.
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