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Windows 7: Formatting infected USB sticks

03 Oct 2019   #1
GusFG

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Formatting infected USB sticks

I'm wondering what is the best way of formatting USB sticks which might or might not be infected. I'm looking at booting up from a Live USB (linux mint with persistence) and disconnecting the internal SSD of the computer to avoid the possibility of cross contamination. But I'm wondering If I boot off of the live USB and plug in the USB in doubt, is it not still possible contamination could cross to the live USB.
I'm sure it's still possible to get USBs which have a read only switch but do I need to get one of these to be fully secure?

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated


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03 Oct 2019   #2
Paul Black

Win 7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi GusFG,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GusFG View Post
I'm wondering what is the best way of formatting USB sticks which might or might not be infected. I'm looking at booting up from a Live USB (linux mint with persistence) and disconnecting the internal SSD of the computer to avoid the possibility of cross contamination. But I'm wondering If I boot off of the live USB and plug in the USB in doubt, is it not still possible contamination could cross to the live USB.
I'm sure it's still possible to get USBs which have a read only switch but do I need to get one of these to be fully secure?
[1] When you format a USB, everything on the USB is deleted.
[2] Booting a Linux Live CD/USB is outside of the installed OS so I would think that you should be OK!
[3] What you could do of course, is to change the parameter of what the OS does when a USB is inserted. For example, change it so it gives you the Autoplay box, then just Red Cross it and format the USB.

I hope this helps!
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03 Oct 2019   #3
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

when a USB is inserted. For example, change it so it gives you the Autoplay box
Paul, at work, not in front of w7pro, is that neato trick done in cntrl-pnl - autorun?
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03 Oct 2019   #4
Paul Black

Win 7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi RolandJS,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
Paul, at work, not in front of w7pro, is that neato trick done in cntrl-pnl - autorun?
I think it is Control Panel => AutoPlay.
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03 Oct 2019   #5
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

aahhh, i meant autoplay :)
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03 Oct 2019   #6
GusFG

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Yeah I'd forgotten about the autoplay/autorun option and I'm sure LInux Mint will have this option. That puts my mind at rest which in this case would mean I wouldn't even have to disconnect the SDD/HDD of the host and could just boot off of the host OS really.

Many thanks folks :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2019   #7
Paul Black

Win 7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi GusFG,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GusFG View Post
Yeah I'd forgotten about the autoplay/autorun option and I'm sure LInux Mint will have this option. That puts my mind at rest which in this case would mean I wouldn't even have to disconnect the SDD/HDD of the host and could just boot off of the host OS really.
Let us know how it goes!
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03 Oct 2019   #8
GusFG

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Will do thanks
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3 Weeks Ago   #9
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, & Kali
 
 

GusFG
Be advised that USB FlashDrives are inherently unsafe.
The Bios is vulnerable and can be infected, your Anti-Virus, and malware detection is ineffective.
The StuxNet Virus developed by NSA that destroyed the centrifuges in Iran was deployed by infected USB Bios.
Bill
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3 Weeks Ago   #10
GusFG

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snick View Post
GusFG
Be advised that USB FlashDrives are inherently unsafe.
The Bios is vulnerable and can be infected, your Anti-Virus, and malware detection is ineffective.
The StuxNet Virus developed by NSA that destroyed the centrifuges in Iran was deployed by infected USB Bios.
Bill
Even with the autoplay turned off?

As regards problem PCs was thinking of using it only when SSD/HDD drives are disconnected initially when booting off the USB.

But there will be occasions when I'd be connecting it via my own PC for updating so there is always a chance it will get infected I guess.

Maybe we're all infected but we just don't know it
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 Formatting infected USB sticks




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