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App to Prevent Removable Media From Running Programs?

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by Anchoret, Jan 20, 2015.

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  1. Anchoret

    Anchoret Thread Starter

    Jan 19, 2006
    I know programs to prevent any files from executing code from removable media are an integral part of high-security, high-$$$ sensitive airgapped systems, but are any available for the general user, preferably freeware or FOSS?

    Seems like they would be extremely easy to write -- just permitting manual copying of files from these drives and preventing all other functions, autorun, etc.

    Likewise, are there programs that do strenuous BIOS integrity checks?

    Many thanks for any pointers here!
  2. monckywrench


    Nov 28, 2007
    You can limit user permissions. If someone has physical access to your system all bets are off. You can run a Linux or Windows terminal server to prevent their physical access to your hard drives.

    If you need BIOS integrity checks may I suggest your users are presumed actively hostile and should not be able to touch your main machines, at all, ever? Give them thin clients with no hard disk and they could steal and dissect those with no harm to your locked-down server.


    If they are hostile enough to reflash your BIOS they are hostile enough to remove the hard disk, use another PC to modify your installation to their liking, then plug it back in, reset chassis intrusion if fitted, and use elevated privileges to own your system.

    Users could get a locked down brick, they could only upload files to a "safe" location of your choosing, and if they got root on their own impotent thin client it would mean nothing. You can slather your thin client system boards with epoxy so they can't be tampered with if that matters.

    There is ample literature for the Googling if you search using the specifics of your operating system. It's interesting and fun.
  3. lunarlander


    Sep 21, 2007
    Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7 Pro and Windows 7 Ultimate has a feature called Software Restriction Policy. Basically, it permits only programs in \Program Files and \Windows to run, All other programs are blocked from executing, eg programs in internet cache, CDs, and USB memory sticks .

    If you don't have the above operating systems, then you can get Simple SRP, from here: http://iwrconsultancy.co.uk/softwarepolicy
  4. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

    Apr 4, 2003
    I thought AutoRun was disabled on USB devices starting with Windows 7.
  5. PcPhoenix


    Jan 18, 2015
    It is. There is some sort of ongoing myth that plugging a USB drive into your computer or inserting a CD can "automatically" execute some sort of malicious code on the USB drive / CD. This isn't true. Unless you specifically configured Windows to do so, windows will not automatically run anything.

    This has been true since at least Vista and ahead. I'm not sure about what settings were in XP, it may have been possible then, at least with CD's.

    So no, you don't need any special software to do this.
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