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malware on portable drive?

Posted on 2011-10-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I recently plugged in an external HDD to a computer infected with malware in order to install the Av software that i carry on the ext. HDD.  Is there any danger of passing a malware infection to other computers after plugging into the infected one, even after AV scans with AVG and MBAM on the ext. HDD shows as clean?
Question by:AE_JB

Accepted Solution

Hellmark earned 572 total points
ID: 37047378
Yes, it is possible for malware to get onto any drive connected to an infected computer, but if multiple AV programs show it as clean, then you shouldn't have anything to really worry about. If there was a virus on the drive, something should detect it, and so logically the lack of detection would lead one to assume that it does not contain any viruses.
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE
Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE earned 572 total points
ID: 37047379
Well, there is always some risk. I'd scan it on a machine that is known to be clean.

Assisted Solution

Hellmark earned 572 total points
ID: 37047384
I should add, that if you're really worried about this, I'd get a small, cheap flash drive, that you only keep AV on, and reformat it after you've connected it to a "dirty" system, so that it remains unsullied.
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

younghv earned 284 total points
ID: 37047551
The safest way to carry around your additional applications is on a CD/DVD.

External devices - that are writable - of any kind are always going to be susceptible to malware, but it is not that likely.
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE
Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE earned 572 total points
ID: 37047650
Or (little bit off-topic) get a USB thumb drive with hardware write protection.
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 284 total points
ID: 37049381
there are a few solutions :    http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/how-to-protect-usb-drive-from-virus-when-attached-to-infected-computer/
Write Protect Switch - as said
use USB Write Protector utility :.
 -USB Write Protector


Assisted Solution

Here2Help earned 288 total points
ID: 37057854

Some other handy USB Protection tools.

Flash Disinfector

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37064456
At this point I will re run the AV scan on the ext. HDD.
In the future I plan to use a USB drive, with a write lock switch, only for malware removal.

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