New Removable Media Threat

Just as IT departments are finally locking down the use of removable media, a new threat may make existing technical controls irrelevant.  The “Teensy” is a USB microcontroller that plugs into a PC in the same manner as a USB thumbdrive.  But, the technical controls that are able to neutralize the use of thumbdrives and other USB storage have no effect on the Teensy.  That is because the Teensy emulates a human interface device, such as a keyboard.  Since USB keyboards are restricted by very few, if any companies, the Teensy is able to connect undetected.  The tiny microcontroller can be programmed with virtually any code- including code useful in an exploit.

Teensy devices are available online for relatively low cost- under $10 US.  It looks like IT administrators have another thing to keep them awake at night.