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Tutorial – How to disable Autoplay (Windows XP)

Home Forums Tutorials Tutorial – How to disable Autoplay (Windows XP)

This topic contains 6 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  mattb 8 years, 3 months ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #7664

    mattb
    Participant

    The Autoplay feature in Windows allows programs stored on removable media to start as soon as the disk/memory stick/memory card is inserted into your PC. While this is a convenient feature, it can also be a security risk. Malware has taken advantage of this feature to automatically infect a machine as soon as the unfortunate user unwittingly accesses an infected disk.

    Disabling Autoplay in Windows XP is easy. Firstly, use the Run command from the Start Menu, and enter “GPEDIT.MSC”.

    [attachment=2:skx82ht1]disable-autoplay-xp-step1.jpg[/attachment:skx82ht1]

    A Group Policy window will now appear. From the folders on the left of this window, choose Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, System.

    [attachment=1:skx82ht1]disable-autoplay-xp-step2.jpg[/attachment:skx82ht1]

    locate the entry for “Turn off Autoplay” then double click it, the following window will then appear:-

    [attachment=0:skx82ht1]disable-autoplay-xp-step3.jpg[/attachment:skx82ht1]

    Modify the settings however you see fit. To completely disable autoplay, configure the settings to match those shown above. Click on OK when you are done, then restart your computer.

    #7809

    Sked
    Participant

    How can Autoplay be a security risk? I am not really sure why I would want to disable it. Even if you just choose to run it, won’t there still be the same risks involved?

    #7810

    mattb
    Participant

    It’s a security risk as Malware can automatically run, without even asking for your permission first. At least with Autoplay disabled the user would have to go into the stick and actually click the malware file.

    Studies have shown that most people who found a USB stick would simply plug it into their computers. Criminals sometimes leave USB sticks lying around so that people will take them into work and plug them in, hopefully making the malware auto-run.

    #7811

    Sked
    Participant

    Oh, wow. Well, I will be sure not to be too nosy when I find any stray USB sticks. I guess you would look at them, even if you want to be a good Samaritan and do it just to try and see who it belonged to, so you could give it back.

    #7812

    mattb
    Participant

    Yes I think I would look too, but maybe in a Virtual PC (temporary PC running on something like VirtualBox) 😀

    #7813

    Sked
    Participant

    What is VirtualBox? And how can you get to that without still infecting your computer? Sounds interesting. I will have to look into it.

    #7814

    mattb
    Participant

    VirtualBox is a free virtualization program that let’s you run multiple operating systems on your desktop, a PC inside of your PC, very handy for testing out software you don’t want to risk on your main PC.

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