USB flash drives are a small portable storage device that is very useful for transporting data from one computer to another. However, the high popularity and wide adoption of this device as a data transport also made it a perfect host for numerous viruses and other infections wide spread by this way. Flash drive can be easily infected with a flash drive virus when you save infected files to the flash memory, or when you plug and use this device with infected computers. Then a virus-infected drive spread the infection wherever it is used for data exchange.
USB Flash Drive viruses
There are many computer viruses that are designed to be spread by removable storage devices and USB flash drives. These viruses often disable Task Manager, Regedit and “cmd” Windows utilities on infected systems. They might also hide Folder Option in the menu Tools to protect themselves from a removal. Flash drive virus often uses the same names or aliases for the Windows service and system files, as an example, svchots.exe, svichossst.exe, svichosst.exe, ssvichosst.exe, etc. They also might replace folders with its own copies and start virus programs any time you click on these folders and these viruses will infect your PC.
Removing flash drive virus
To clean your infected USB device from a flash drive virus and other malware you need some advanced antivirus or specially designed for this purpose cleaning utility tool. You also might try to clean it manually; though, there is no guaranty that you will figure out all the tricks that viruses use to protect themselves. There is a FREE tool that might help you with flash drive virus removal.
Tasks to perform for manual removal:
- made all hidden folders and files visible
- remove autorun.ini
- remove svchots.exe
- remove ssvichosst.exe
- remove svichossst.exe
- remove rvhost.exe
- remove svichosst.exe
- remove svichost.exe
- remove svichosst.exe
- remove svohost.exe
- remove all other virus files found
Possible tasks needed after the virus removal:
- enable Task Manager
- enable Command prompt
- enable Registry Editor
- enable Folder Option in Tool Menu
Protect your computer from USB-spread viruses
- Use well-known antivirus software with an active shield enabled to protect your PC from viruses coming from USB ports, and keep your antivirus bases frequently updated.
- Scan your flash memory devices before opening them with Explorer or starting some programs.
- If infection is found, clean your flash device before its use with antivirus program.
- Use special programs for flash drive and USB protection.
A simple trick that helps to protect your USB device
I use some simple trick, that I found somewhere on the Internet, on all of my USB flash drives, and it helps me to keep my devices clean for a long time. What you need to repeat this trick is replacing the file autorun.ini with the same named hidden folder on your flash device. Attribute hidden do not let to open or replace this folder easily, and all the majority of viruses that exploit autorun.ini are stopped by this way.
Even if you use flash anti-virus protection programs or tricks, some viruses might be ready to break through this defense, and the use of normal antivirus for scanning USB devices should be used anyway because anti-virus bases are updated more frequently than the programs designed to protect USB devices from viruses.
The last security resort
Unfortunately, not any flash drive virus is get caught by antivirus programs, and this is a case when you need to use some special utility for the USB virus removal. The New Folder Removal Tool is designed to find and remove USB viruses and might be used as a last wall of defense when the antivirus fails.