Monday, October 17, 2011

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Write Protect USB Drives Using Registry

USB sticks might be the latest solution to data storage problems, but analysts have identified the harmless-looking devices as potential security risks for computer networks.

A common security concern at organizations is allowing users to plug in a USB flash drive, because they could so easily copy corporate and some times valuable data.

And No wonder, Apple's popular iPod and similar small-sized portable storage devices, like the USB (Universal Serial Bus) sticks and SD (Secure Digital) memory cards, can be easily plugged into a computer and used to copy data in just few seconds.

And to restrict this, you have two best options, one is to completely disable USB options. Or, making the USB Drives Write Protected. You have to decide the one that best suits your organization.

As per the Microsoft knowledge base article 823732 which contains instructions on how to disable USB storage access for a certain group of users this disabling and re-enabling of USB ports is based on a simple registry entry. And to read more about Enable and Disable USB Port Through Windows Registry | Follow this Step-by-Step Instructions.

Write Protect USB Drives Using Registry

And here in this article, lets see how you can disable writing to USB devices altogether using a simple registry hack. Here it is:

Important: Windows Registry is a weak link in the operating system’s stability and robustness. It’s remarkably easy to damage, but very difficult to repair... Backup your registry before you start modifying the registry entries. Read my other article to know how to backup the registry.

To Disable Writing To USB:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies]
“WriteProtect”=dword:00000001

To Enable Writing To USB:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies]
“WriteProtect”=dword:00000000

You can also just download from one of the following registry tweaks to enable or disable writing to USB drives.

Enable USB Write

Disable USB Write

Once you use the registry hack, you will have to reboot for the changes to take effect.

Make sure other users who are using that particular PC do not belong to Administrator Group. If they have administration rights, they could simply use this trick and reverse (or change the settings back to normal) this Registry settings.

This method works on Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows Vista.

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About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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1 comments:

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Shinde Ganesh
AUTHOR
April 13, 2015 at 9:06 PM delete

is above application made in C# or Java?

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