Microsoft Removes Autorun From USB Devices

If you use a computer, chances are you have used a USB device at one time or another. Previously on Windows machines, when you plugged in a USB memory stick, the functionality known as ‘Autorun’ was enabled, meaning that as soon as you plugged in the device, software could be automatically booted from the memory stick.

An article on the Naked Security blog is reporting that Microsoft is now patching that functionality out of older versions of Windows (anything older than Windows 7), due to the huge amount of malware which has gained access to people’s computers through autorun. The way that it would work is that the malware would get onto your computer, and then onto your memory stick so that it could then automatically install itself onto the next computer that the memory stick was plugged into.

The update has been rolled out through Windows Update, which I highly recommend that you use, since it makes sure your computer is totally up to date with the latest security patches. If you are using Windows XP, load up Internet Explorer, go to tools and click on Windows Update. For Windows Vista and Windows 7 users, go to the start menu and type in ‘update’ to the search bar which will bring up the dialogue window. Alternativly follow this link.

I have Windows update set to ‘download updates but let me choose whether to install them’ so that it will install the updates when I click shut down on my laptop. This way I get all the updates, it installs when I shut down the machine and I don’t get the annoying ‘You need to restart your machine, Automatically restarting in X minutes’ message’. It is really important to receive these updates, so definitely take my advice and set it up to work in the background.

Did you ever use Autorun? Does Windows update annoy you? Let us know below in the comments.