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Now Nohl’s research team has tested that reprogrammability problem in USB controller chips sold by the industry’s biggest vendors: Phison, Alcor, Renesas, ASmedia, Genesys Logic, FTDI, Cypress usb access control and Microchip. They checked versions of each chip both by looking up its published specs and by plugging a device using it into a computer and attempting to rewrite the chip’s firmware.

Banning the use of USB devices or disabling computers’ USB ports isn’t a practical security measure, as so many peripherals now connect via these ports. Therefore, enforcement of USB best practices – particularly encryption – has become the preferred option for ensuring data is secure if a drive is lost or stolen. Enforcing usb secure encryption of data stored on USB drives is now a lot easier than it used to be, particularly since Microsoft introduced BitLocker To Go with Windows 7 But, unless all your PCs run Windows 7, you’ll need an alternative encryption method, as the encrypted data is read-only when accessed on earlier versions of Windows.

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