Photo via Tony Webster

How a hacker can trick you into infecting your own computer with malware

Don't be fooled.

Feb 28, 2020, 11:31 pm*



Mike Wehner

Just how trusting are you when it comes to your computer? Sure, you probably delete suspicious emails and avoid sketchy website downloads, but what if you found a random USB drive in your mailbox? Hackers are betting that you’ll be more curious than suspicious, and if they’re right, your computer could be toast. 

Victoria Police Department

In a public safety notice posted by the Victoria Police Department in Australia, officials are warning citizens to keep a close eye on their real-life mailboxes. According to the department, unmarked USB drives have begun appearing in peoples’ mail all across the area. 

Without even knowing what they are, the unlucky recipients have been plugging the tiny drives into their computers and infecting themselves with dangerous software. Housed on the drive, a fake “media streaming” service attempts to defraud the user, and that’s to say nothing of the other malware or bad actors potentially being installed in the background. 

Needless to say, you should never put unknown or suspicious drives in your computer at any time, as the result could very well lead to a pricey repair bill to remove nefarious programs or even identity theft, which is much more pricey than just buying a new USB drive yourself. 


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*First Published: Sep 22, 2016, 4:39 pm