Why Using Your Windows PC Is Riskier Than Ever

A windows virus called Raspberry Robin has been disabling PCs and causing using one to become riskier than ever before.

By Joseph Farago | Published

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A Windows virus has been taking PC users by surprise this past month. Microsoft released a statement about the issue, informing PC owners about the Raspberry Robin virus and how it’s breaking through software security. The pesky bug is infiltrating computers through infected USB devices, hopping from one computer to another with each insert.

Raspberry Robin is being spread through a .LNK file on specific USB devices. A user must click the file after the external hard drive is inserted into the PC to have the virus initiated. Once the file is clicked, the Windows virus starts its operation. Raspberry Robin launches a msiexec process, the Windows installer, and begins to run its malware. Once the virus is established, it’ll connect through the server to start downloading files without the user’s knowledge from the internet. Any number of  DLLs, which can be damaging files, are then downloaded onto your computer, initiating the virus’s reign.

Though the Windows virus is highly conducive to taking over PCs, Microsoft hasn’t reported any huge issues yet. It’s unclear what the Raspberry Robin inventor’s goal is, but that person has yet to take complete advantage of the virus’s deadly prosperity. The malware installed after the server launch can easily bypass the Windows User Account Control and easily manipulate Windows OS components. This could lead to more malware being installed on the computer without the users being aware. Microsoft is still attempting to figure out how to prevent the bug from spreading and the inventor’s goal.

Microsoft has now released a widespread warning bout Raspberry Robin and its high-risk nature. The company doesn’t have bold preventative measures other than telling users to be wary about what USB devices they interact with. An unknown USB device plugged into a PC could lead to this Windows virus taking over the computer. Luckily, the bug hasn’t taken over Windows networks in a damaging or irrevocable way, leading to many analysts’ confusion about the motive behind the virus’s invention.

Intelligence analyst Red Canary started researching the software bug in May, highlighting some critical details about the virus’s characteristics. Before the virus was officially named, similar activity occurred in September 2021, with infected external drivers causing PC issues. The report did include that significant speculation still exists about the Windows virus’s motives and intentions. What is known is that the infected hard drive with the .LNK file always initiates a DDL to be installed on the computer. Red Canary believes that the DDL is downloaded to establish control of the victim’s OS. But from that final download, it’s unknown what else occurs on the computer or how hazardous the installation is for the user’s private data.

With so much malware circulating, it’s essential to stay on top of preventive measures. The recent Windows virus concerns many but has some easy protective instructions for PC users afraid of a malicious hack. Always make sure you know what external drive you’re using when connecting it to your PC. Also, being wary about suspicious files, especially .LNK files, on your hard drive will help you navigate damaging viruses.