The USB Drive: Are We Facing The Most Dangerous Cyber Weapon Yet?
The unassuming USB drive – it’s small, handy and potentially the most dangerous technological weapon yet to emerge in cyberspace. According to some estimates, millions of computers worldwide have been infected since June with a virus known as Stuxnet, a “worm” that infiltrates and re-programs computer systems handling highly sensitive content (e.g., military installations, shipping, etc.). As an article in Slate.com quoted earlier this month, “the deviousness of [Stuxnet's] design has prompted many researchers to call it a ‘cyber-weapon,’ one perhaps created by the United States or Israel to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.”
How does Stuxnet invade such guarded computer systems, you ask? It does so through one of the most common devices in today’s tech market – a simple USB drive like the one pictured below: