, Security and SafetyWhat Are Physical Access Attacks and How Do I Stop Them?

What Are Physical Access Attacks and How Do I Stop Them?

2019-03-25T12:33:33-05:0026 Dec 2018|

Physical access attacks encompass all the ways someone could steal your information. To demonstrate, you could be working at your local Starbucks and decide to get up for a refill. You leave your laptop on the table, thinking what’s the worse that could happen? Then, when you’re away someone comes by, inserts a USB device and steals your data or deploys malicious software onto your device.

It’s that simple and it leaves you with a compromised system. Even worse, it could corrupt your data, rendering it inaccessible.

The USB Connection

When you or someone else plug equipment into a USB connection, your computer has a USB host controller that it connects with. This connection runs similar to an internet connection in that it contains packets and other components. Upon accepting the connection, the host then presents the USB device to the operating system, and this could represent the biggest risk to your computer’s data.

If the USB device possesses malicious packets, these can transfer onto your device. Once successful transfer happens, these files can corrupt your entire system. Even worse, they can deploy a Rubber Ducky attack, which creates malicious code by mimicking the keyboard.

Google Chrome’s Intention to Limit USB Access

Using the illustration above, if you leave your laptop alone (still a big no-no) but have the foresight to lock the screen, Google Chrome will come to your aid. Google announced it’s adding USBGuard to all of its Google Chromebooks.

How this works is when you leave your computer and someone tries to plug in a USB device, the computer’s operating system prevents it from executing the code. Along with this, Google is adding a feature that allows users to disable all USB connections from their Chromebook, eliminating any of the USB attacks from happening.


Illustration by Kaspersky Labs

Tips for Preventing Physical Access Attacks

Since hackers prey on the easiest opportunities, it makes sense for you to take extra precautions. Included in this is to refrain from leaving your device unattended, especially in public areas. And, if for some reason you have to, lock the screen before leaving. Doing so can shield your device from executing malicious files.

Meanwhile, if you lose data due to malicious code, physical hardware failures or other problems, know solutions could be available. The team at SALVAGEDATA can help. Our team specializes in data recoveries for a diverse array of server and device types.

Best of all, we offer free quotes, where we can diagnose your problems and offer applicable solutions for you. This gives you the information you need up front so you feel better about the recovery. To learn more about SALAVAGEDATA’s services or to schedule your consultation, contact us today!