USB Guardian is a free security program for the Windows operating system that can improve a system's protection against threats that use removable devices as an attack vector.
USB storage devices, USB flash drives for instance, are used by millions of computer users for storage. Some users carry these devices around with them to access data stored on the device on different computers they work on.
While that is super useful, USB flash drives have been used in the past to attack computer systems. One of the most popular worms that was spread via removable devices was the Conficker worm which infected millions of computer systems.
Some - but not all - security programs protect computer system from attacks carried out from USB flash drives that get connected to the computer systems.
USB Guardian runs silently in the system background after installation. The program is designed to scan USB flash drives automatically as soon as they are connected to the computer system.
Note: The program tries to install a toolbar during installation. This toolbar is not required to run the program, and you may decline its installation during setup.
USB Guardian isolates autorun directives on the removable device automatically to block any program referenced by the autorun file. Since it does so automatically on connect to the PC, USB Guardian prevents that attack vector completely.
The security software scans the autorun.inf file on the flash drive afterwards to find out if it references additional files that may be dangerous to the computer system. The executable files that are found will also be locked automatically by it.
You can use the USB Flash drive normally afterwards but with the limitation that locked files are not accessible and cannot be run because they are locked by USB Guardian.
Locked files can be unlocked in the program interface which is helpful if harmless applications have been locked by USB Guardian. It is furthermore possible to use the interface to delete locked files, and to configure other options such as running USB Guardian on system start.
USB Guardian is a handy security program for Windows devices that protects the computer from attacks using autorun files on USB devices.
USB Guardian is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.
One thing that is missing is an option to whitelist programs on drives. If you work with the same Flash drive all the time and know that executable files on it are safe, you may want an option that prevents USB Guardian from locking it each time the device is connected to the PC.
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.