07 July 2006 | 8,666 views

‘Free’ USB Drives Defeat Company Security

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This is an excellent case of Social Engineering, you could also consider it playing on human greed/ignorance/stupidity.

Whatever you want to label it really ;)

USB drives are a real security risk..

We recently got hired by a credit union to assess the security of its network. The client asked that we really push hard on the social engineering button. In the past, they’d had problems with employees sharing passwords and giving up information easily. Leveraging our effort in the report was a way to drive the message home to the employees.

The client also indicated that USB drives were a concern, since they were an easy way for employees to steal information, as well as bring in potential vulnerabilities such as viruses and Trojans. Several other clients have raised the same concern, yet few have done much to protect themselves from a rogue USB drive plugging into their network.

They had to think up something a little different though as they had to bait employees that were already on high alert as they knew they were being audited.

I made my way to the credit union at about 6 a.m. to make sure no employees saw us. I then proceeded to scatter the drives in the parking lot, smoking areas, and other areas employees frequented.

Once I seeded the USB drives, I decided to grab some coffee and watch the employees show up for work. Surveillance of the facility was worth the time involved. It was really amusing to watch the reaction of the employees who found a USB drive. You know they plugged them into their computers the minute they got to their desks.

The stats are amazing, out of 20 drives, 15 were found…out of the 15 found ALL FIFTEEN were plugged into company computers.

A neat way to get in eh, next time you are asked to push the social engineering buttons during a penetration test or vulnerability assessment perhaps you can do this.

All you need is a few cheap USB drives and a custom trojan.

Source: Dark Reading



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4 Responses to “‘Free’ USB Drives Defeat Company Security”

  1. Joe DAg 10 July 2006 at 12:17 pm Permalink

    Even Simpler way to get a trojan in. Seed the drive with 2 directories. Then the marks will run your virus for you. You might even be nice and redirect to the real game after you run your payload. So they never know what they really ran.

    /games
    solitare
    tetris
    majong
    bejweled
    etc.

    /porn
    obvious

  2. Darknet 10 July 2006 at 3:51 pm Permalink

    That’s basically what they did, but they used pictures, not sure what they bound the custom trojan with though, could be anything.

    Game or joke or funny flash video etc.

  3. Konpaku 4 June 2007 at 8:02 am Permalink

    this is one of those almost so simple its a headsmacker.

    Social engineering is a really cool topic to study. It cover ethics, and human behavior, which dictate how the IT industry is motivated at some levels.

  4. Daniel 4 June 2007 at 8:52 am Permalink

    ive done this…

    hides in evil chagrin

    i brought all the episodes of lost in season 1 so my friend on a “evil stick” a u3 stick running the hak.5 USB switchblade software plus a custom payload to steal his itunes account.

    dont worry i told him about it