Malware By Mail – Infected USB Drives in Letterboxes

Most of us are used to receive cybersecurity threats through the Internet. However, some malicious files may drop at to your very doorstep. Literally. Police in Australia warns about infected USB sticks delivered into people’s mailboxes.

Mail Distribution by USBs – an Atypical Way to Spread Malware

The distribution of viruses usually happens through email. Maybe the crooks missed the “e” in their cybercrime manuals. Jokes aside, plugging an unknown USB can be very dangerous. The Victoria Policy Department reported that in the small town of Pakenham, located close to Melbourne, unmarked USB flash drives were dropped into letterboxes without any notes or markings attached.

What’s Inside the USB Sticks?

The post by the police department says that the flash drives infect computers with a “fraudulent media streaming service offers.” Opening them puts the user at a bigger risk than simple service offers. All sorts of malware and viruses may be lurking inside the flash drives. Opening an unknown USB drive is a bad idea, especially if it was planted in your letterbox. The Australian police urge citizens not to open the malicious mail packages.

The Dangers of USB Flash Drives

Dropping USB drives into people’s letterboxes is an unorthodox way of spreading malware. The thought of hackers physically going to your home and putting infected devices in the mailbox is pretty disturbing. However, it’s unlikely that this method will pick up. USB flash drives aren’t that cheap, and it’s easier, faster, and safer for crooks to simply send emails infected with malicious attachments.

USB flash memory drives are utilized for “dead drops.” Here’s how they work – a memory drive is put in a public space, often stuck inside a wall with cement. People can then upload or download information on the dead drop without the help of the Internet. If that sounds like a cybersecurity nightmare, that’s because it is. Dead drops are easy to compromise. Crooks can upload malicious content similar to the streaming service offers found in the Pakenham USB sticks.

This may seem obvious to most, but opening an unknown USB drive is very dangerous and should be avoided. It doesn’t matter if the USB drive was laying on the street or in your letterbox, don’t open it unless you’re sure it’s not infected. Don’t let curiosity get the better of you. You’ll probably end up either disappointed or infected.

40% of Facebook users are likely to open a link from an unknown source. The number of people who would open a USB flash drive from an unknown source is also higher than it should be.

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Author : Alex Dimchev

Alex Dimchev is a beat writer for Best Security Search. When he's not busy researching cyber-security matters, he enjoys sports and writing about himself in third person.

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