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Technical Note

Insider Threat Control: Using Universal Serial Bus (USB) Device Auditing to Detect Possible Data Exfiltration by Malicious Insiders

  • January 2013
  • By George Silowash , Todd Lewellen
  • In this report, the authors present methods for auditing USB device use in a Microsoft Windows environment.
  • Insider Threat
  • Publisher: Software Engineering Institute
  • Abstract

    Universal serial bus (USB) storage devices are useful for transferring information within an organization; however, they are a common threat vector through which data exfiltration can occur. Despite this, many organizations permit the use of USB devices on their systems. Implementing controls to track the use of these devices is necessary if organizations wish to retain situational awareness and auditing capabilities during a data theft incident.

    This report presents methods to audit USB device use within a Microsoft Windows environment. Using various tools-the Windows Task Scheduler, batch scripts, Trend Micro's OSSEC host-based intrusion-detection system (HIDS), and the Splunk log analysis engine-we explore means by which information technology (IT) professionals can centrally log and monitor USB device use on Microsoft Windows hosts within an organization. In addition, we discuss how the central collection of audit logs can aid in determining whether sensitive data may have been copied from a system by a malicious insider.

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Cite This Report

SEI

Silowash, George; & Lewellen, Todd. Insider Threat Control: Using Universal Serial Bus (USB) Device Auditing to Detect Possible Data Exfiltration by Malicious Insiders (CMU/SEI-2013-TN-003). Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2013. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=35427

IEEE

Silowash. George, and Lewellen. Todd, "Insider Threat Control: Using Universal Serial Bus (USB) Device Auditing to Detect Possible Data Exfiltration by Malicious Insiders," Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Technical Note CMU/SEI-2013-TN-003, 2013. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=35427

APA

Silowash, George., & Lewellen, Todd. (2013). Insider Threat Control: Using Universal Serial Bus (USB) Device Auditing to Detect Possible Data Exfiltration by Malicious Insiders (CMU/SEI-2013-TN-003). Retrieved December 27, 2014, from the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University website: http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=35427

CHI

George Silowash, & Todd Lewellen. Insider Threat Control: Using Universal Serial Bus (USB) Device Auditing to Detect Possible Data Exfiltration by Malicious Insiders (CMU/SEI-2013-TN-003). Pittsburgh, PA: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2013. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=35427

MLA

Silowash, George., & Lewellen, Todd. 2013. Insider Threat Control: Using Universal Serial Bus (USB) Device Auditing to Detect Possible Data Exfiltration by Malicious Insiders (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2013-TN-003). Pittsburgh: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=35427