Freebie thumb drives could be loaded with dangerous software


Cyber security experts say 15 seconds is all it takes to hijack a computer with some of the latest technology.

The keyboard injection tool looks identical to a device used daily at work, in schools and at home.

It looks like a USB flash drive and also plugs in like one, but it doesn't work like one.

"If you peel back the cover of these types of devices which can be purchased for as little as 39 dollars on the internet, turns out these are actually what we call keyboard injection tools," said FBI agent, Tom Ervin.

It's a keyboard with a removable SD card.

"The attacker can then go code up his piece of malware which we call a malicious payload," Ervin said.

What is inside the covert cover can actually run commands remotely.

"The actual rate for this device can run a thousand words in a minute of keyboard instructions," Ervin said.

Among the most alarming features are the keystroke logger and the ability to hijack the camera on a computer.

Local college student, Ashley Robertson has been on the receiving end of these swag bag gifts.

"I think the worst thing was hearing that they could basically get all of your information and open credit cards or open any sort of account without you knowing," Robertson said.

A hacker can create, delete or steal files compromising confidential information including your identity.

"He'll be able to see exactly what's going on on your desktop while you use it so he'll be able to see your mouse move in real time," Ervin said.

If you happen to see the mouse move and you're not in control this is a red flag.

"Immediately disconnect from the internet and so if you're on WIFI, turn off that WIFI connection," Ervin said. "If you're physically connected to the internet through a cable disconnect the cable."

Another way to protect yourself from these faux flash drives is to set your lock screen anytime you leave your computer.

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