Hewlett Packard Australia has notified people that USB keys transported with some of its HP Proliant file servers are infected with a virus, adding attention to the growing use of USB drives as a method to distribute malicious software. The low risk worms, Fakerecy and SillyFDC, were seen in a batch of 256MB and 1GB USB keys that was sent with the HP servers. It is undetermined how many infected keys, used for installing optional floppy-disc drives to file servers, were spread. An infected computer in the manufacturing plant is probably cause of the incident. The computer virus spread is not viewed as an great threat, due in part to the low amount of estimated users still utilizing floppy disk drives for data storage and that most hackers don't find the virus valuable. There has been other reports of digital photo frames, other hardware devices, and even software media coming out of the factory with malware.
Anti-virus computer software, if up to date, should detect both of the computer viruses involved in the HP Proliant USB attack as long the Anti-Virus protection was installed after the floppy disk was added to the computer. Disabling autorun thwarts both Fakerecy and SillyFDC and may be the easier option. Hewlett-Packard's notice, via local security clearing house AUSCert, can be found here: http://www.auscert.
The SANS Institutes's Internet Storm Centre delivers advice on avoiding USB malware-related danger here: http://isc.sans.org/diary.html?storyid=4247. Hardware devices departing the factory with malware is seemly more common these days, raising the motivation for good Anti-Virus software.
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Christopher is a security consultant for Lexan Systems L.L.C and founder of MX Police. For a limited time you can get free internet virus protection. You are welcome to reproduce this article on Computer Security related web site, as long as you reproduce the article in full, including this resource box and links to our websites.