Fake flash is only part of the risk...

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Miso hungry
Sep 26, 2020
Sushi Bar, USA
Kind of surprised this was not addressed yet (unless I missed it), but when buying flash media that is not sealed, and not from a reputable brand, this can also be a security risk. Bad USB and auto-run malware are viable threats in these situations. There have been documented stories on this podcast where targeted personnel where given flash drives at an event that compromised them in this way. I stick to only buying sealed, tamper evident, brand named flash drives.
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I think most who have been listening for a while will have taken the effort to disable auto-runs from any external media. Unless they went through the hassle of adding a fake device that forces Windows to install a driver (Remember when RAZOR mice allowed people to run stuff as the SYSTEM user?)
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I agree. For more on safely dealing with USB flash drives see this

The only safe thing to do with a new flash drive is to format it from a Chromebook running Guest mode. If you need to see existing files, then again, Chromebook in Guest Mode.
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Sealed tamper evident packaging can be cloned, as there are multiple vendors in the great factory region who specialise in making copies of packaging, selling to fakers, who then slip this into supply chains, swapping out genuine with fake, to sell at a profit.
If it has modified firmware or hardware, formatting it is pointless. It could pretend to be a keyboard device, and type lord knows what into the computer it is plugged into, as just one form of risk.
Do you know of a defense? Still, in this worst case, the best environment for most people is a Chromebook running in Guest mode.
Do you know of a defense?
Yes. Someone with a unexposed and disposable machine should be the one to look at it. I don't know if anyone makes a machine to properly investigate a USB device for improper behaviour.

TL;DR: If you find a USB stick, let it be... someone else's problem... If it's at work, drop it off at security, and make sure they know what to properly do with it...