Hardware, Technology Security

Transcend releases Anti-Virus USB drive with a fatal flaw

During the past couple of years, we saw USB drives coming with various features, from external to internal. A USB stick with encryption or backup software is no stranger and you can buy them for 20-30 USD.

But often overlooked factor is anti-virus capability. What happens if you plug a USB stick into a virus/Trojan-infected computer and that USB stick doesn’t have a "Read Only" switch on it? After receiving multiple virus warnings coming from different sticks, I’ve embedded anti-virus software on my Voyager GT [unfortunately, comes without a read-only switch].  Transcend had the same idea and decided to team up with Trend Micro, releasing JetFlash V15. JetFlash V15 comes with 4GB and 8GB sizes, features a Read-Only lock and Trend Micro USB Security software suite.

The device works on a very simple principle – you plug in V15 in the computer and if the computer is infected with malware, alert pops out and all the infected files are thrown into the quarantine. However, a critical failure on Trend Micro’s part was the inclusion of full version of USB Security software. Yep, you’ve read it correctly – Transcends Anti-Virus stick comes with a 90-day trial version of the USB Security software.

To us, it just looks incredible that both Transcend and Trend Micro shaved off 10-20 USD off the retail price and effectively advertise a trial solution. If Transcend and Trend Micro really wanted to protect its users by bundling Trend Micro software on already existing JetFlash drives, they could have at least have the guts to offer a full-blown version with 365-day coverage or something like that.

But we obviously ask for too much.