Scammers sending USB drives in the mail

Scammers sending USB drives in the mail

By Greg Collier

If you own a computer, you’ve probably used a USB drive. Sometimes they’re also referred to as flash drives or thumb drives. They’re a great tool to help you either back up important files, or transfer files from one computer to another. However, they can also be used in cyberattacks.

The FBI recently issued a warning that USB drives are being sent through the mail. The drives are being attached to fliers that promise you a free gift card to Amazon or some other well-known retailer. The instructions say that in order to redeem the gift cards, you’ll need to put the USB drive into your computer.

If you do put the drive into your computer, a few things could happen. The FBI is saying that many of these drives contain ransomware. Ransomware locks up your computer and encrypts your files before asking for a ransom payment to get your files back. The drives could also contain key logging software which sends everything you type back to the scammer. This could include sensitive information such as account logins, passwords, and anything else you type.

These drives are not only being sent to individuals, but businesses as well. One good ransomware target could cripple an entire business.

The best defense against these attacks is to never put a strange USB drive in your computer. Whether it’s one you found on the ground, or one you receive in the mail, USB drives that you didn’t buy personally should be seen as suspicious. If you put a strange USB into your computer, you’re risking not only compromising your computer, but potentially other computers in your home or business network as well.

If you receive one of the USB drives promising you a free gift card, you’re asked to contact the FBI at their website.