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TheStreet Open House

IronKey™ Secure USB Devices Protect Against BadUSB Malware

Imation Corp. (NYSE: IMN), a global data storage and information security company, today announced that its IronKey Secure USB devices are not vulnerable to BadUSB malware which was revealed at Black Hat on August 7. BadUSB is the first USB malware designed to attack the device itself instead of attacking the data on the device. IronKey’s leadership in security, including its use of digital signatures in all controller firmware, makes its products immune to this new threat. To help reduce the impact of BadUSB, the company is offering a GoodUSB Trade-Up Program that provides discounts on its secure USB products.

As revealed at the Black Hat session on BadUSB, the attack changes the firmware that controls the behavior of the USB hardware, allowing the USB device to become a host that can subsequently infect other computers and USB devices. The modified controller firmware cannot be detected by today’s anti-malware solutions, and in many cases, may remain undetectable.

As explained by the researchers, the best protection against this vulnerability is to use code signing for firmware updates. If the signed firmware is modified, the device cannot authenticate the firmware and simply will not operate. This prevents the infection from spreading but results in an unusable device. That is why in addition to using signed firmware, IronKey protects the mechanism used to update the firmware with hardware-based security keys. This prevents tampering with the signed firmware, which would leave the device unusable.

Additional key security features available for secure USB:

  • Secure, military-grade 256-bit AES full disk hardware encryption
  • FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) 140-2 Level 3 validation
  • Centralized management supporting remote wipe/disable of lost or stolen devices
  • Multifactor authentication
  • Built-in password protection policies
  • Ruggedized, waterproof metal case that resists physical break-ins and is tamper-evident
  • Virus/malware protection

“Protecting critical data has been the primary reason for deploying secure USB flash drives in enterprises and government agencies,” said Ken Jones, vice president of engineering and product management for IronKey. “BadUSB is a new kind of threat. Now more than ever secure flash drives are a necessity to protect your entire corporate infrastructure and even your home environment.”

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