What a very interesting experiment: Researches randomly deposited 297 USB drives (aka USB stick, flash drive, thumb drive) around the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. They wanted to see just how many, and how soon after dropping them off, they’d be collected by people.
Turns out that 48 percent of the drives were taken and inserted into computers. The report at theregister.co.uk says that in some cases, this was done minutes after the drives were left in the public spots.
Picking up a USB drive off the streets and plugging it into your computer is akin to picking up discarded food off a sidewalk and eating it. You just never know what kind of infection you’re going to get.
And what you might get is a virus crashing your computer or stealing your data. That USB stick could contain malware—either left in public as a prank, or innocently lost…
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