Windows Much Safer After Microsoft Killed Autorun

Autorun is one way for malware to trick a user into installing some nefarious software from removable storage media. An executable could reside on a USB flash drive and, when inserted into a PC, would prompt the user to click the autorun file.

Back in February, Microsoft released an update that curbed autorun behavior for all supported Windows platforms stretching back to Windows XP SP3 to Windows Vista SP2 (Windows 7 already had a "fixed" autorun behavior and Windows XP SP2 was no longer supported through updates).

When comparing stats before and after the Microsoft update, we clearly see that blocking the autorun of removable storage had a significant effect on the infection rate. It may have been a tweak to stop a certain action on the users' part, but it was certainly effective.

Read more on Technet

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Thunderfox
    The mystery is why it was enabled for removable devices in the first place. Seems like a rather obvious risk with no widespread practical purpose.
  • mister g
    It was a convenience feature, much like how a window pops up every time you insert a CD or DVD.
  • huron
    I completely realize the convenience factor, but the issue I had was how difficult it was to turn off in XP. In Win7, it's simple to disable...XP, not so much.
  • vaughn2k
    "Windows Much Safer After Microsoft Killed Autorun"

    Damn right!
  • tommysch
    I never had autorun enabled...
  • c0oim4n
    The words "Windows" and "safe" in the same sentence? I thought it wasn't possible....?
  • GenKhan2
    1. I'm impressed at how low the infection rates are period.

    2. That my friends is why Windows is the world's premier operating system; a culture of continuous improvement based on measurable metrics.
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Huge move by Microsoft !
  • drwho1
    This "article" looks to me like no other but Microsoft propaganda.
    Now if Microsoft would do something to stop infections thru the internet that would be something huge. But locally on my own PC? I have no fear of infections ever, not even a cold.
  • It will be much safer when it doesn't "autorun" itself!