Memory sticks pose threat

Memory sticks are the latest security threat concerning agency chief information officers, according to John Mitchener, chief scientist for BBX Technologies Inc., New York. BBX's software watches for unusual file-related activity on computer hard drives.

Memory sticks, produced by companies such as Sony Corp., are small enough to fit onto key chains, so they can be smuggled easily into an office without suspicion. Since they connect directly to a personal computer through a universal serial bus outlet, they can bypass a firewall altogether, Mitchener said. The devices, often sold in 256 or 512-megabyte configurations, can be used to copy data surreptitiously, or to carry in applications that can be installed on machines to snoop on employees.


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