cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Create Post

I only plugged it in for a second

I only plugged it in for a second

I once had a user who complained that her computer was infected with a virus.  After investigating the incident, I determined that the virus had come from a USB thumb drive which the user had connected in order to retrieve some documents.  I explained that I would have to wipe the computer and reinstall the OS.  The next day, I returned a newly imaged pc to her and told her that she was good to go back to work.  Less than fifteen minutes later, the user called me in total frustration, saying that the virus had returned.  I went to the user's desk and informed her that there was no way the virus could have returned since it was a brand new computer.  After questioning her, she informed me that she had plugged in the same USB thumb drive again in an attempt to retrieve her documents.  I explained to her that she couldn't do that since that was the source of the virus.  Her reply?  "But I only plugged it in for a second!"

6 Comments
Level 8

It's common knowledge that viruses are only transmitted from a USB thumb drive if you have it plugged for longer than an arbitrary "few minutes," not just a few seconds.

Level 9

I'm pretty sure it's 3 seconds, you know, "3 second rule" for eating something that has fallen down?

Same as germs, viruses need more than 3  seconds to be able to affect a new system!

Once again, it turns out the user is the victim--twice. 

It took me a while, but finally I understood that TRAINING is the key to solving many problems like this.

This problem isn't that the user is stupid; it's that no one taught the user the how's & why's of viruses and thumb drives and infections.  Once trained, that user could be your biggest advocate.

But left ignorant, and feeling demoralized by being judged incompetent by peers, that employee will become a hindrance instead of an asset.

Train, train, train.

Then test, and train some more.

Level 14

at that point I would have "obtained" the USB drive!

Level 12

A Stricter policy that either prevents USB drives (or anything else unauthorized) from being plugged in or a more secure mandatory Scan/Clean/Block exe's etc...should be in place. We get staff here to read and sign-off on such policies, as well as providing direction when such actions are found to have occurred.

Something that Heathrow I am sure has learned recently...

Man finds USB stick with Heathrow security plans, Queen’s travel details | Ars Technica

Level 8

Not sure why Virus Protection didn't pick it up! I had a similar experience. After the second time I asked for the DVD of virus ridden illegally downloaded music to "check it out". I then snapped it in half and threw it in the bin!