"prizes turned out to be wretched hives of malware and villainy."
Bravo, Richard Chirgwin.
These are not the USB sticks you're looking for...
Winners of a security quiz staged by Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau may be wondering why they tried so hard to do well after some of the USB drives handed out as prizes turned out to be wretched hives of malware and villainy. According to the Taipei Times, the Bureau hosted an infosec event in December 2017, and gave …
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A former boss from long ago, old-fashioned monocle-sporting City of London lawyer, attended a banquet of the agricultural community. In the evening’s raffle he won a prize heifer.
He went up to the podium expecting to have to lead the cow (sic) off by the nose and figure out how to stuff it into a black cab. London cabbies can be obliging, but ....
Fortunately for him he was just given a certificate, was able to auction off the unwanted animal and pledge the proceeds to charity. Phew!
Back in the 90's, I worked for a rather large German computer company, who had a number of service contracts with big retailers and financial institutes, one of those being Midland Bank.
A computer used for duplicating engineering floppy disks to be used to test banking computers at the afore mentioned bank, had been infected by a virus from an engineer playing a pirated company game, Golf.
Said infected disks were sent out to a couple of hundred field engineers, luckily for Midland Bank, they ran OS/2 v1.3 on most of their backend systems. Not so lucky for other customers using the same computers but running a copy of Windows!
Oh now you've reminded me of a text based golf game from the 70s... IIRC you were given a list of characteristics about the hole and the wind then you had to choose a club, a power setting and a bearing. You were rewarded with an outcome - lost ball, bunker, rough, fairway, green, hole and a new list of targets and bearings.
Completely text based, nowadays it seems mad, but at the time it was quite addictive.
There's not much else that one can do with a USB Stick besides shoving it into a computer. I supposed one might plug it into a USB Power Pack, but that wouldn't accomplish much beyond perhaps testing any included LED.
I'll agree that it might be best to ensure that one's PC is not configured to auto-execute everything presented to it. But beyond that, there's not really many other options (for most folks).
Am I missing something? Inspecting it with a magnifying glass? Weighing it? Smelling it carefully? Building a breadboard circuit to read out the contents one bit at a time?
"There's not much else that one can do with a USB Stick besides shoving it into a computer... "
Baldrick: It's a bit of a tiddler, ain't it?
Black Adder: Yes, but size isn't important. It's not what you've got, it's where you stick it.
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