Feeds

Disabling Windows Autorun - there's a right way and a wrong way

Redmond's Downadup protection

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

After some confusion about exactly how Windows users can protect themselves against a prolific computer worm called Downadup, Microsoft security watchers are once again reiterating the steps for disabling the Autorun feature.

Downadup has managed to infect an estimated 9 million machines at last count using multiple attack vectors. Two of those vectors are USB flash drives and mapped network drives, which are booby-trapped with files that compromise machines that are configured to automatically connect to CD and DVD drives and other types of media.

Disabling the feature has long been a good idea, as the 2005 fiasco involving the Sony rootkit made clear. Those unfortunate enough to have Autorun configured - and the feature is turned on by default - found their machines were secretly infected by digital rights management software after playing certain Sony BMG CDs on their PCs. With Downadup spreading like wildfire, disabling Autorun is an even better idea than ever.

For the low-down on exactly how that's done, head over Microsoft Knowledge Base article 953252. The May 2008 article revises an earlier Knowledge Base item that didn't completely remove the dangers inherent in Autorun.

It would appear that the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team referred to that older article when it warned the world on Wednesday that Microsoft's instructions "are not fully effective" and "could be considered a vulnerability."

The group went on to give labored instructions for changing registry settings that disable all Autorun features. We're sure they work, but we can't imagine Aunt Mildred having the slightest clue how to pull them off. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports
New emphasis on encryption as a weapon?
To Russia With Love: Snowden's pole-dancer girlfriend is living with him in Moscow
While the NSA is tapping your PC, he's tapping ... nevermind
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
Slap for SnapChat web app in SNAP mishap: '200,000' snaps sapped
This is what happens if you hand your username and password to a 3rd-party
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.