Research: Avoid sharing flash drives

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — You may want to think twice before sharing those flash drives with someone. New research shows the USB port on your computer can be directly used to steal your information or infect your computer.

German researchers found that anything connected via USB can be reprogrammed to do real damage to your data. Let’s say you use someone else’s flash drive and plug it in to your USB port, it can be used to take control of your laptop.

It can also pose as a network card and reroute your internet use so someone can spy on what you are doing. That opens you up to identity theft, bank fraud, and extortion.

The researchers say it can also happen if someone charges their Android device using your computer’s USB port.

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