written by: Karishma Sundaram•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/5/2010
Although Autorun Eater is a small and whimsical utility, it helps fix an important security breach. It does not attempt to infringe upon the antivirus territory, and merely focuses on the very specific threat it is designed to eradicate.
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Autorun Eater is a small free utility that has been designed for a very specific threat. As removable media becomes more and more prolific, a large number of systems were becoming infected through the autorun.inf file that resides on the removable media - Conficker being a prime example of malware that can spread in this way.
Since removable media does not require installation, it has become an easy way to transfer large amounts of data from system to system. Malware can easily attach itself to the external drive, as it does not have any resident protection. When the drive is plugged into another system, the autorun feature on the drive opens a dialogue box, prompting the user to take certain actions. This way the malware can propagate itself into the second system through the autorun file.
Autorun Eater was created to combat this specific threat, as most antivirus software applications will pass over those files without a second thought.
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•Compaq Presario CQ50 Notebook PC
•AMD Athlon Dual-Core QL 1.90 GHz
•2.00 GB RAM
•160 GB Hard Disk
•Microsoft Vista Home Basic
•Google Chrome/Mozilla Firefox Browsers
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Installation and first impressions
The installation process for Autorun Eater was very quick. The setup asks for the minimal user input, like where to install the files, and whether to create a desktop shortcut.
As the installation completes, the application is then launched. A splash screen is displayed of a goat in a barnyard. Along with the splash screen, the sound of a goat is played as well.
There is no graphical user interface as such, and most of the features are accessible on clicking the system tray icon. The icon is a traffic cone, and has the bare minimum in terms of functions.
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Scans and removes any potentially dangerous autorun.inf files found, whether on removable media or other drives in real time. The user is also informed of the removal; additionally, backups are always created in the event of a false positive, therefore recovery is also possible
All results of the scans performed are logged by the application
There is an option to set the priority of the scan to either normal or high
The latest version of Autorun Eater includes 3 registry fixes for Regedit, Task Manager and for Folder options
Bleats like a goat on startup (which is either very cool or very stupid)
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The utility is very small, yet serves a definite purpose. Usually malware propagated through removable media slips through the cracks in an antivirus application, and Autorun Eater plugs that leak exceedingly well. It takes barely any memory, and works quietly and unobtrusively in the background. Definitely a good tool to have on any system. Highly recommended!