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Panda USB Vaccine Review: Free Protection From Malware that Spreads Via USB Drives

written by: Donna Buenaventura•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 2/4/2011
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Protecting our computer against malware that will spread via USB drives is an easy task using Panda USB Vaccine.

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    Introduction

    Panda USB Vaccine from Panda Software is a free utility to help prevent infection that will take advantage of autorun.inf file found in any removable media or drive. Malware can modify the autorun.inf and copy a malicious file in any USB or media so each time the drive is connected or mounted, the malware will silently infect the system.

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    Installation and System Requirements

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    Vaccinated Panda USB Vaccine supports Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, Windows 7 operating systems. Installing the program is quite easy and no reboot is required to start vaccinating your PC or any USB drive.

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    Features and How to Use Panda USB Vaccine

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    Default Setup Panda USB Vaccine is very simple to use: Simply vaccinate your PC or USB drive and you’re done!

    The only feature of Panda USB Vaccine is to vaccinate. Two methods to vaccinate are offered: PC vaccination or USB drive vaccination. When you allow the utility to vaccinate your PC or USB drive, it will disable autorun.inf so nothing or no one can modify, delete, create or read the autorun.inf file found in the media via USB drive.

    You can configure Panda USB Vaccine to automatically vaccinate any new drive. Using the command

    Note: If you have a USB drive that does not have autorun.inf file, it is quite safe to vaccinate it. However, if there’s autorun.inf file in the USB drive, you need to remember that you cannot use autorun feature.

    Why disable Autorun?

    Microsoft has shown a graph on the number of infections caused by the feature in Windows, Autorun. They decided to disable Autorun feature in Windows to prevent further growth of the infection that will spread using the autorun feature. However, it will not prevent autorun in running if you inserted a removable drive e.g. CD or DVD. With Panda USB Vaccine, vaccinating the computer will disable autorun feature for inserted CD or DVD drive. The screenshot in the left shows autorun is enabled when I did not vaccinate the computer in Vista with SP2 while the image at the right will not show the option to autorun simple because Panda USB Vaccine has vaccinated my computer so if I’m not sure whether the DVD is infected or not, I’ll be safe since Panda USB Vaccine prevented autorun to run.

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    Price to Value

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    Panda USB Vaccine is completely free!

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    Conclusion

    With the advanced detection and protection by advanced malware scanners on the market, you should already be protected from malware that spreads via USB or any malware that will modify autorun.inf, but if you want to add extra layer of protection without spending money, Panda USB Vaccine is a great way to go. Highly recommended!