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Protecting IP on USB

The above InfoGraph was provided by Nexcopy Company and highlights the current and services available for protecting intellectual property on USB flash media, or USB Copy Protection.  The concept behind this USB copy protection solution is the ability to share digital files on a flash drive with others, but restrict their ability to pass along that information. With the above solution a user can protect different file types which are the most popular multimedia files such as PDF, MP3, QuickTime, MP4, M4V, html, flash and some other listed.  This post is not intended as advertising, but a share of products and services about USB copy protection available on the market today. Continue Reading

Microsoft Foils USB Hack In Latest Windows Update

When a USB stick is connected to a PC the Windows operating system enumerates the device.  In simple terms, this means Windows will check to see what type of device was just connected, a HID device, Mass Storage Devicet etc, it will also check the speed of the device. During the enumeration process some registry entries are made into the Windows registry…this is where a hacker could get into your system and take control.  This is the update Microsoft issues earlier this week to fix the security flaw. Since the vulnerability is triggered during USB enumeration, no user intervention is required. In fact, the vulnerability can be triggered when the workstation is locked or when no user is logged in, making this an unauthenticated elevation of privilege for an attacker with casual physical access to the machine. Other software that enables low-level pass-through of USB device enumeration may open additional avenues of exploitation that do not require direct physical access to the system. So be sure to update your PC with the update notification comes through – it’s in your best interest. Full Microsoft article Continue Reading

Clean Windows Registry of USB Drives

Here is a great tool for cleaning Windows Registry of USB drive entries. The program runs in the Windows console and removes all devices that are not currently connected.

To clean up the Windows registry of a USB flash drive, or other USB devices can make your system boot faster and run faster.

For example, each time you connect a USB printer to a different USB port on your PC there are registry entries made which associate the device with the drivers. Windows is trying to be smart and log this information so the next time you connect the device, Windows will know exactly what to do. Meaning when you connect the printer a second time, you don’t see the balloon from Windows saying “Installing Brother driver” or something, it’s just connected and ready to go.

But, for example, lets say you connect your Nikon camera to your PC and you use a different USB port each time, now you have a bunch of registry entries that can make your PC boot slower, run slower or possible give you trouble with that external device.

With all this said, if you are having trouble with a USB drive, or a USB camera, printer or scanner, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is run this Windows registry cleaner utility. Good chance it will solve your problems.

Download Now

System Requirements:
WinXP / Vista / Win7
Writes settings to:
Does not write files to host computer
Dependencies:
Administrator rights
License:
Freeware
How to extract:
Download the ZIP package and extract to a folder of your choice. Launch drivecleanup.exe either in the ‘Win32’ folder or ‘x64’ folder.

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IronKey Workspace Windows 8 PC on a Stick

ComputerWorld did a nice write up about the IronKey Workspace product for Windows 8 operating system. Read the full article here.
“IronKey storage devices have also been validated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to meet the stringent Level 3 criteria of FIPS 140-2. Combined with the cloud -based IronKey Enterprise Management Service, data security can be managed and audited from anywhere in the world. The IronKey Workspace flash drive, however, is not FIPS-certified.”
The IronKey will boot from any PC or Mac computer.  Boots in about 35 seconds but has an initial configuration time of about 4 minutes. Continue Reading

USB Copy Protection by Nexcopy

Nexcopy has released a USB Copy Protection solution for those who need to share files, but without giving the “receiver” full ability to copy and re-distribute. The great thing about a USB flash drive is file sharing.  They are great for copy and saving and taking files on the road.  This same convenience factor also makes it very difficult to have Digital Rights Management as well.  With Nexcopy’s USB Copy Protection, it’s not difficult any longer! First, lets explain the difference between write protection and USB copy protection.  Some thing it’s the same, but it’s not. USB write protection [also called data lock] means the files cannot be deleted off the drive…it also means files cannot be added to the drive.  But you can still copy the files off the drive to your desktop or hard drive. USB copy protection provides the same functionality as write protection, but in addition, does not allow Continue Reading

Microsoft With USB Anti-Malware RootKit

Microsoft has made available a new version of “Defender” to ride infected computers of malware, including rootkits which highjack your boot process and corrupt your computer. The “Defender Offline Beta” is available from Microsoft for free [here] and does require updates as virus definitions are always changing. Definitions are files that provide an encyclopedia of potential software threats. Because new threats appear daily, it’s important to always have the most up-to-date definitions installed in Windows Defender Offline Beta. Armed with definition files, Windows Defender Offline Beta can detect malicious and potentially unwanted software, and then notify you of the risks. The Redmond company suggests you make a USB drive with the Defender Offline Beta software from a PC which is not infected.  Doing so on a corrupted computer could interfere with the USB and yield the Microsoft tool useless. To use Windows Defender Offline Beta, you need to follow four basic steps: Continue Reading

Never Forget Your USB With USB Guard

In a mad rush, I’ve logged off my computer, shut down the PC and ran out the door.  All the while with my USB stick still connected.  The USB stick with all my photo’s, portable applications and the exe file I promised to give my neighbor.  Getting home, I reach for my flash drive in pocket, and oh Sh1t it isn’t there. Or some of you may be using USB’s to boot from so there is boot strap code on the device.  If the USB is connected during bootup of your PC, you can get an error message…and for a non-tech person [wife or girlfriend] they may think their computer has crashed. The only way around all this stuff is making sure to pull the USB out of your computer. With USB Guard this is exactly what it does, reminds you a USB flashdrive is connected before you log off, or power down the PC. You can also flag USB hard drives so they too are never forgotten. Continue Reading

Imation Acquires IronKey Hardware Security Solution

IronKey has long been known as the ultimate in data storage and security for content loaded on a flash drive.  With hardware encryption, self destruct safety protocols for incorrect passwords and AES 256 data encryption it’s no wonder those who need the ultimate in data security go to IronKey.  Well no longer says Imation. Under the agreement, Imation will receive exclusive license rights from IronKey for the secure storage management software and service along with licensing to use the IronKey brand for its secure storage products. While Imation is bringing the IronKey brand to a global distribution channel, IronKey will accelerate their focus on cloud-based security tools and features.  IronKey will support Continue Reading

Windows 8 Is Looking Like USB Portable

A leaked version of Windows 8 has surfaced and there look to be some promising features for the USB lovers out there.  First and formost, check out this screen shot of Windows 8 asking if you’d like to run from a USB flash drive. USB Windows 8 Is it possible Microsoft figured out the best possible solution for longevity is letting users run their OS from a flash drive, then plug it into any PC they see fit to run their computer?  Some storage problesm with that, but never-the-less, a good starting point. Here are some other things we think might be bundled with Windows 8:
  • Run from an ARM processor
  • Multi touch gesture interface
  • USB portability
  • Ribbon user interface
  • Easy access to cloud storage
But who knows exactly what will be included until Microsoft makes the official beta version available. Continue Reading

USB Autorun Update From Microsoft

USB Autorun is a favorite among USB promotional companies as it will autorun their website, PDF files or movies.  USB Autorun also gives the pirates and hackers an open door to reak havoc on your system. Last year one of the worst virus’ spread via USB and it’s most important attribute for success was the USB autorun function. This should all change if millions of users update the latest patch from Microsoft which address the autorun problem.  The update is for all versions of Windows other than Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to adapt to the behavior in those new versions. After the patch update (KB971029), users who insert a USB device will no longer see a menu option to execute programs on the device itself. The standard menu options, to view files on the device or play media, will remain, and behavior for CD and DVD media also remains unchanged. Microsoft feels the autorun function was such a big problem for malware jumping onto your system they had to do something.  Users should note that USB with CD ROM emulation will still trigger the USB autorun function.  If interested, there are some ways of getting a CD-ROM partition onto a USB stick with gear like what Nexcopy offers. The update from Microsoft is not considered urgent enough for a security update, but they do consider it an “important” update, so we recommend you use the link in this post and get the update.  Or approve the next Microsoft update you get from your OS. Continue Reading

USB Key Safe – The SplashID

How many times have you registered for a service or product on the web, only to be required to enter a user name and password?  How many times has that website required some 6 or 8 character password which includes numbers, capital letter and lower case letters – basically some abstract combination of characters?  Or you enter a user name only to find it’s already been used or you’re required to enter your email address as your user name.  With most people having mulitple email address its difficult to remember which one, the password or combination there of.  You need a system. That system could very well be the SplashID from SplashData.

SplashID, USB password

Consider some of the following – would they help you?
  • Never forget a username or password again – ever
  • Secure and backup your passwords, credit card numbers, registration codes, PINs, and more
  • Generate truly random passwords hackers cannot guess
  • Protect yourself from identity theft, keyloggers, and phishing
The SplashID uses a autorun function which automatically opens up the SplashID user interface upon connection to a PC or Mac computer.  Pull the key out, and not a trace of SplashID stays on the system or any of your sensitive data you just gone done using.  So clearly a big value add for passwords, data base of private content and  password generator. Currently you get the SplashID for $30 with free shipping…although the free shipping is for a limited time.  Here is the link for more info. Continue Reading

Ford Making An App Store for Cars?

Wouldn’t that be nice – an app store for cars?  Ford isn’t there yet, but they could be.  I read earlier this week that Ford is pushing out a new SDK for software developers to create applications for For Motor cars.

USB Ford Sync

A simple example of an app would be syncing your smartphone with the car [via USB] and run Pandora music or Stitcher internet radio.The new SDK from Ford includes access to the voice recognition utilities to help developers integrate voice command applications.  An example here would be syncing the voice command functions of your phone through the speaker system of your car stereo.  Developers could also design apps where you ask the car Continue Reading

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USB copy protection with digital rights management for data loaded on USB flash drives.

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