Is the warning against plugging in free USBs applicable only to Windows and Mac? [solved]

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pepperminty
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Is the warning against plugging in free USBs applicable only to Windows and Mac? [solved]

Post by pepperminty » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:47 am

There's a tech reporter who recently advised against plugging in free USB drives/keys into your computer. I believe it's because there's a chance they could be infected with malware/virus/spyware/etc.

But is this precaution applicable to us Linux users?
Last edited by pepperminty on Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Portreve
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Re: Is the warning against plugging in free USBs applicable only to Windows and Mac?

Post by Portreve » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:22 pm

pepperminty wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:47 am
There's a tech reporter who recently advised against plugging in free USB drives/keys into your computer. I believe it's because there's a chance they could be infected with malware/virus/spyware/etc.

But is this precaution applicable to us Linux users?
Probably straight-up viruses (in the classical sense) and "normal" malware wouldn't, either readily or at all, affect a GNU+Linux system, any more than it would affect a hypothetical "Portreve OS" system (assuming I was a coder, which I am not, and I wrote my own OS). However, something like a rootkit may well cause a problem. The thing is, there's no direct, instant, and "easy" way to tell, so the best-practices approach is only to use flash drives (or any other storage medium) for which you can reasonably vouch its previous use history.
administrollaattori wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:52 am
No.
To quote Marcus Cole from Babylon 5, “That was fast! Hit by a divine revelation were we?”
Presently rocking LinuxMint 19.2 Cinnamon.

Remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

Xi does look like Winnie the Pooh. FTCG.

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administrollaattori
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Re: Is the warning against plugging in free USBs applicable only to Windows and Mac?

Post by administrollaattori » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:32 pm

Portreve wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:22 pm
administrollaattori wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:52 am
No.
To quote Marcus Cole from Babylon 5, “That was fast! Hit by a divine revelation were we?”
Actually my answer was the wrong - into USB can be a Windows 10 installation files, which are destructive for other operating systems. :wink: :lol:

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Re: Is the warning against plugging in free USBs applicable only to Windows and Mac?

Post by BenTrabetere » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:45 pm

You also have to consider it might be a USB Killer. Whether would be worse than a Windows 10 installation device....

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Re: Is the warning against plugging in free USBs applicable only to Windows and Mac?

Post by Portreve » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:59 pm

BenTrabetere wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:45 pm
You also have to consider it might be a USB Killer. Whether would be worse than a Windows 10 installation device....

[Emphasis added.]
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

Xi does look like Winnie the Pooh. FTCG.

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Re: Is the warning against plugging in free USBs applicable only to Windows and Mac?

Post by old_noob » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:28 pm

If it's a USB killer, it will be considerably larger than most thumb drives because it must contain the capacitors that do the dirty work. If it looks unusually bulky proceed with caution. Note that that the extra hardware could be concealed within a cute penguin or something similar.

For run of the mill USB drives that I am given at conferences, etc., I do the following: Use a live USB drive or DVD to boot into Linux from a secondary (or tertiary) machine - something that does not contain critical information. Plug in the suspect drive and use GParted to wipe it. Should be OK after that unless NSA or the Russians are after you. Then check the computer you used...

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Re: Is the warning against plugging in free USBs applicable only to Windows and Mac?

Post by pepperminty » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:57 am

administrollaattori wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:52 am
No.
No to which question of mine?

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Re: Is the warning against plugging in free USBs applicable only to Windows and Mac?

Post by Hoser Rob » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:51 am

pepperminty wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:57 am
administrollaattori wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:52 am
No.
No to which question of mine?
You had only asked ine question.

On the OT, the issue there is viruses on USB stick (Stuxnet is the most famous one AFAIK). ANd it's true, there aren't any Linux viruses in the wild. Linux has a protected kernel space and a very small user base. Seriously, what kind of fool would you have to be to write a virus for it when there's WIndows out there? Of course Linux users can still get hacked, it's just not viruses involved.

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Re: Is the warning against plugging in free USBs applicable only to Windows and Mac?

Post by Moem » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:04 am

Hoser Rob wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:51 am
You had only asked ine question.
There's one in the title and one in the body of the first post. That makes two.
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If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Re: Is the warning against plugging in free USBs applicable only to Windows and Mac?

Post by administrollaattori » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:44 pm

pepperminty wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:57 am
administrollaattori wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:52 am
No.
No to which question of mine?
Last question.
But is this precaution applicable to us Linux users?

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