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  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    Guest:
    The 3rd release of SpinRite v6.1 is published and may be obtained by all SpinRite v6.0 owners at the SpinRite v6.1 Pre-Release page. (SpinRite will shortly be officially updated to v6.1 so this page will be renamed.) The primary new feature, and the reason for this release, was the discovery of memory problems in some systems that were affecting SpinRite's operation. So SpinRite now incorporates a built-in test of the system's memory. For the full story, please see this page in the "Pre-Release Announcements & Feedback" forum.
    /Steve.
  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for some very handy tips!

    /Steve.
  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

    GRC's “BootAble” freeware allows anyone to easily create BIOS-bootable media in order to workout and confirm the details of getting a machine to boot FreeDOS through a BIOS. Once the means of doing that has been determined, the media created by SpinRite can be booted and run in the same way.

    The participants here, who have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience, their successes and some frustrations with booting their computers into FreeDOS, have created a valuable knowledgebase which will benefit everyone who follows.

    You may click on the image to the right to obtain your own copy of BootAble. Then use the knowledge and experience documented here to boot your computer(s) into FreeDOS. And please do not hesitate to ask questions – nowhere else can better answers be found.

    (You may permanently close this reminder with the 'X' in the upper right.)

Fake flash is only part of the risk...

#1

Sushi

Sushi

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.


#2

miquelfire

miquelfire

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?)


#3

MichaelRSorg

MichaelRSorg

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.


#4

P

PHolder

format it
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.


#5

rfrazier

rfrazier

I stick to only buying sealed, tamper evident, brand named flash drives.
@Sushi YES, and sold by a reputable well known vendor.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron


#6

S

SeanBZA

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.


#7

MichaelRSorg

MichaelRSorg

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.


#8

P

PHolder

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...