Ask the Doctor: No Way, AutoPlay!

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mikeh3

A comment earlier referenced a registry zap at cert.org. That is a FAR better approach than anything from Microsoft. For one thing, it does not involve installing softare. It also works the same on XP and Vista. Plus, its a much more complete solution. I wrote about this registry zap, which was first documented by Nick Brown here 

http://blogs.computerworld.com/the_best_way_to_disable_autorun_to_be_protected_from_infected_usb_flash_drives

No matter which solution you opt for, you can test how well it works with a sample autorun.inf file that I created. Read more here 

http://blogs.computerworld.com/test_your_defenses_against_malicious_usb_flash_drives

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xunknownx

i read that if you make a AUTORUN.INF folder in your usb drive, the virus wont be able to create an actual autorun.inf file on your thumb drive.  not sure if it works tho.

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MAXPCreader07

I think Panda USB Vaccine does just that, but also changes the permissions on it too:

http://download.cnet.com/Panda-USB-Vaccine/3000-2239_4-10909938.html

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HokieTechie

Another option is an unofficial registry hack that is discussed at  http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/889747 . 

The hack in question (remove the string AUTORUN.INF from the registry) is somewhat extreme, but it does leave one with a stronger assurance that Microsoft didn't accidentally leave another back door to their "NoDriveTypeAutoRun" registry key or the various tweaks that change it.

 

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shellpc

In TweakUI for XP I only see my optical drive, hard drives and a few card readers. I don't see any drive letters for USB ports. How do you disable autoplay for usb ports in XP?

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Muerte

My guess would be that you have to anticipate which drive letter a USB drive would be when you connect it.  With removable storage, the drive letter is assigned when you actually plug the device in and it is recognized as a storage device. I'm not sure if the drive letter is retained after you unplug the device.

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shellpc

If that's the case, one might as well click off every drive letter in the list that's not currently in use.

 I'm wondering though if you just go to the My Computer>Autoplay>Types menu and just unchecked "Enable autoplay for removeable drives" would disable autoplay for usb drives as well?

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Muerte

That woould be my guess.  Not too hard to test.

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