Feeds

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

Redmond's Downadup protection

Seven Steps to Software Security

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.