Trump-Kim Summit Gift Bags Containing Fans with USB Drives Raise Cyber Eyebrows
Get started on your cybersecurity degree at American Military University.
By LTC Steven Howard, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Journalists attending the recent Trump/Kim summit in Singapore were recently surprised by warnings from cybersecurity experts. The journalists were given complimentary gift bags containing a fan with a USB drive. The fan was intended to keep journalists cool during the 92-degree daytime temperatures.
However, the journalists were warned not to plug the fan’s USB drive into their laptops. Cybersecurity experts warned that the USB drive may contain malware.
Dutch journalist Harald Doornbos tweeted a picture of the fan.
13/ Handig. In de persmap voor de #KimTrumpSummit zit een mini usb fan. Handig om koel te blijven tijdens het schrijven. Het is hier in Singapore idd vrij heet. 33°C of zo. Maar haalt het niet bij Dubai, koning van de oven. pic.twitter.com/6tQd5d7gCW
— Harald Doornbos (@HaraldDoornbos) June 10, 2018
The tweet read: “Handy. In the press kit for the #KimTrumpSummit, there is a mini USB fan – convenient to stay cool while writing. It is pretty hot here in Singapore, 33C or so. But it does not reach Dubai, king of the oven.”
Using USB Drives from Unknown Sources Has Long Been a Cybersecurity Hazard
However, cyber experts have been saying for years that if you give someone physical access to your computer, it is no longer your computer. In the past, USB drives have been a favorite way for hackers to circumnavigate security measures.
It was eventually revealed that the USB drives were supplied by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) in Singapore. A spokesman for MCI has confirmed that the USB fans have no processing or storage capabilities.