Disguised USB storage devices prohibited for office use

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. John Vasquez
  • 82nd Training Wing Information Assurance Office
We know, it sounds like something out of a James Bond spy kit.

But, because of the portability and affordability of large capacity USB storage devices, they are turning up everywhere in all kinds of forms. Just look what happened to your Grandpa's old-fashion Swiss army knife and your Sensei's sushi!

The protection of sensitive information is vital to the success of the Air Force Mission. Putting this rule into place helps ensure the confidentiality of our data by placing us on the lookout for such devices, whether or not they are being used with malicious intent.

This isn't just a local directive. It's mandated by AFI 33-202v1, Network and Computer Security. 

The AFI states "Use of disguised USB storage devices (designed to look like anything other than a USB storage device, e.g., watch, pen, flashlight) are not permitted in locations containing Information Systems. Inform personnel of the ban on disguised USB storage devices at all entrances of locations containing ISs."

In addition to the AFI, the Defense Information Systems Agency also provides guidance on use of such devises.

According to DISA, "jump drives that are designed to look like anything other than a jump drive will not be attached to an IS. Examples of these disguised jump drives include pens, watches, jewelry, etc.

"Additionally, since they could easily be overlooked in a spot search to verify that no restricted or sensitive information is being removed from a location, disguised USB jump drives will be banned from locations containing DOD ISs."

No matter how innovative or even cool the USB jump drives are, they are prohibited from use on official computers.

If you have any questions, please contact your Unit Information System Security Officer.