Steal Your Friends Passwords and Software Licenses!

I’ll bet that headline got your attention!

We all know that the purpose of computer passwords is to protect personal information that you’ve stored on your computer, and in your online accounts.

With access to your passwords, cyber-criminals (they come in all shapes, sizes and flavors – so don’t be fooled), can and will, steal your identity and without a doubt severely compromise your financial security. Stolen passwords have the potential to cause serious havoc in your life.

There are numerous ways of course that a password, or software license key, can be stolen. Popular methods employed by cyber criminals include, but are not limited to:

Email scams: Email scams work because the Cyber-crooks responsible use social engineering as the hook; in other words they exploit our curiosity to start the process of infecting unaware computer users’ machines

Search engine redirection: Cyber-crooks continue to be unrelenting in their chase to infect web search results, seeding malicious websites among the top results returned by these engines. Malware, including password stealers can be installed on a computer simply by visiting a site.

Drive-by downloads: Drive-by downloads are not new; they’ve been lurking around for years it seems, but they’ve become much more common recently. They are crafted to automatically download and install malware including password stealers on your computer without your knowledge.

Now, added to the burden we already carry in protecting our computers, our private personal information, and our confidential financial information, we now have to be careful, and perhaps even suspicious of our friends, or for that matter anyone, who inserts a USB drive including MP3 players into a USB port on our computer.

USBThief is a free hacking application – available for download on virtually every torrent download site that I investigated – which can be installed on a USB flash drive, or even an iPod, or other MP3 player. I haven’t tried to install this on a Digital Camera, but I suspect (with some modification), that it can be done. Consider how often a friend, or family member, has connected any one of these peripherals to your machine.

USBThief has been designed and crafted with only one purpose in mind, and that is to steal both the passwords, and software keys, on the duped party’s computer.

There is no requirement that the culprit is a seasoned hacker – all that’s needed is that an ethically challenged individual download the program; decompress the archive and put all the files located in the folder “USBThief” onto a USB drive.

After connecting and removing the tweaked USB drive from the victim’s computer, the cyber-criminal simply views the dump folder to view the captured information.

I have not written this article to produce paranoia, or to make you suspicious of either your family, or your friends, but so that you are aware of the ever increasing challenges we all face in protecting valuable information in a world that threatens us, at every turn it seems.

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4 Comments

Filed under Don't Get Hacked, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Malware Advisories, Privacy, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, USB, Windows Tips and Tools

4 responses to “Steal Your Friends Passwords and Software Licenses!

  1. g

    Good reason to encrypt any files/folders that contain information you don’t want others to have.

    I endorse and use AxCrypt for my desktop and Clipperz for the cloud.

  2. Pingback: mp3 download » Steal Your Friends Passwords and Software Licenses!

  3. Hi Bill:

    I knew about this software because a student talk about it. This is really nasty, specially because a usb memory is something very common to share between friends or colleagues. I made a rule about using others usb memories in my pc: never use other jump drive in my pc except my own!

    greetings from the caribbean.

  4. Thank you for, once again, writing a post that should be required reading before someone is allowed their Computer Operator’s License.

    While the media’s interest in this dates back a ways, your readers might remember a bit of a stink when iPods and digital picture frames (USB-connected) were detected that were delivered from the factory with malware installed.
    http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2008/02/16/cyber-crime-news/

    Yes, folks. The world IS this scary. You cannot be too careful and you cannot be too paranoid these days.. and guess what? With “Web 2.0″ and “cloud computing”, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.