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Secure any computer with a USB Drive

Posted on 2013-11-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
Hello,

I would like help in creating a USB thumb drive which when plugged into any computer immediately starts securing it - firewall, antivirus, antimalware, antirootkit, antikeylog, etc.

I've seen many articles on securing the thumb drive. That's not what I'm looking for.

I would like to walk up to any computer, plug this USB drive in, let it do it's magic, and start using the computer resting assured in the fact that it is now secure. I'm not looking to encrypt traffic to a TOR, yet.

Is this possible? I've seen a commerical product that does something very similar.

Thanks
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Question by:netcmh
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16 Comments
 
LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39628320
What commercial product?  For all the things you list, it could take up to eight hours to scan the computer before you could use it.  Also, corporate computers will frequently have USB access blocked so their employees can't copy files to or from the computer.
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Author Comment

by:netcmh
ID: 39628354
I wasn't asking about a corporate environment.

I'm looking for is a secure, protected environment made sterile by the USB drive. I understand that the AV part might have thrown you off as your scan comment indicates.

I may have worded the question inaccurately. I apologize.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39628370
a secure, protected environment made sterile by the USB drive.
I don't know what that means.
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39628607
Sorry, but you seem to be chasing dreams. If it is not infected yet, of course we could put a script on that stick to set configurations and maybe even script-start some portable virus scanner or install 3rd party anti-anti-anti-so-and-so software. But that would need UAC being off and autoplay being on - both not the default, so no magic, at least not out off the box.

But what if the computer is already infected? Any security expert will tell you that the worst thing a non-expert could then do would be trying to clean it and afterwards treat it as if it were clean. Trying to clean it automated even, as you would like it to be done is ridiculous, sorry. It would be anything but sterile afterwards.

Why not try a live-OS instead? A USB-bootable OS or even a read-only-live OS booted from CD? That's as close to sterile as you can get.
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Author Comment

by:netcmh
ID: 39628627
Yes, I've looked into the liveCD or liveUSB OS options, but that doesn't get me access to the OS on the device which I need.

I appreciate all the help I'm getting, but not the attitude. Sorry.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39628661
Well, sorry about "the attitude", I was only trying to express my opinion clearly, not meant offensive for sure. May I ask what you mean by "get me to the OS on the device"? You mean access the hard drive or its applications?
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39628949
@netcmh, so far we don't understand what you actually want to do or how you expect to do it.  At least not in sufficient detail to provide better information to you.  Statements like "a secure, protected environment made sterile by the USB drive" and "get me to the OS on the device" don't have specific technical meaning to us or at least not to me.
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Expert Comment

by:mannyfernandez
ID: 39629874
Not sure I have seen this before outside of probably one of the same you saw, although it does sound like a great idea.  Obviously this would be very OS centric as you would need to duplicate the efforts for potentially Windows, Mac, Linux and even Chrome (although if you are in a controlled environment in you corporate office this may not be the case)

I know Checkpoint has(d) a solution that would create a sandbox for you to work in and would remove all traces of your private data once disconnected.  However there would need to be some interaction with the files/file system on the USB to launch that environment.  

I apologize I did not offer you a solution but will do some research and hopefully add to the discussion moving forward.  Please update if you do find something.
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Author Comment

by:netcmh
ID: 39631012
Yes, the sandbox environment is exactly what I'm looking for. The environment which would protect my work on the computer utilizing the OS and applications on the same.
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Accepted Solution

by:
kadafitcd earned 2000 total points
ID: 39631331
http://www.sandboxie.com/

This might fit the bill.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39631737
At the start, you wrote you wanted to secure a computer, to clean it, and so on. Now you talk about sandboxing. What are you trying to do?
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Author Comment

by:netcmh
ID: 39631893
I've never indicated that I need the PC cleaned. That was assumed by the first responder.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39631922
I see... but what is it that you use that usb drive for, then? Something like a live system, or a rescue system or...? You did not answer my other question... it was "May I ask what you mean by "get me to the OS on the device"? You mean access the hard drive or its applications?"
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Author Comment

by:netcmh
ID: 39638827
I thought I did answer that question by - The environment which would protect my work on the computer utilizing the OS and applications on the same.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39638852
Still not clear to me.
The usb drive should be "The environment which would protect my work on the computer utilizing the OS and applications on the same" ?
How should the usb drive use applications installed on the Computer? That would not work with applications that use the registry (which is by far the majority). And what do you mean by "utilizing the OS"? Sorry, I still haven't the slightest idea how you plan to use that usb drive.
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Author Comment

by:netcmh
ID: 39638870
I think I have my answer. I have explained it to the best of my understanding. I feel that the sandboxie answer does indeed fit the bill.
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