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Are External USB Drives a Target for Espionage?
7/26/2009 | poiuqwer

Posted on 07/26/2009 1:46:23 PM PDT by poiuqwer

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Are there any thoughts or references about my suspicion, or arguments on why it is false?
1 posted on 07/26/2009 1:46:23 PM PDT by poiuqwer
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To: poiuqwer

Answer: Yes


2 posted on 07/26/2009 1:50:10 PM PDT by Mr. K (THIS ADMINISTRATION IS WEARING OUT MY CAPSLOCK KEY DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT!!!!!)
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To: poiuqwer

What’s the brand or make of the 1TB XTHD? I have one as well..


3 posted on 07/26/2009 1:50:56 PM PDT by max americana
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To: poiuqwer

Obama hacked into your files, just to make sure you didn’t have a copy of his BC.


4 posted on 07/26/2009 1:50:59 PM PDT by library user
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To: max americana

Are you guys talking about a 1TB external hard drive or a thumb/flash drive? If you know where I can get a 1TB thumb/flash drive which will fit on my keychain for under a $100, please let me know where to find such a thing.


5 posted on 07/26/2009 1:52:57 PM PDT by library user
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To: poiuqwer

Because when I have a USB external hard drive, I call the manufacturer and send it back. No, actually, I just buy a new one. Typically, after a few months/years, they provide more capacity for memory for cheaper anyways. And I actually prefer firewire external drives over USB.

However, I wouldn’t be surprised if hidden viruses are shipped on them when you purchase them.


6 posted on 07/26/2009 1:53:24 PM PDT by benjibrowder (For Neda. May God bless those fighting for freedom.)
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To: poiuqwer

Interesting theory. Perhaps a little too complex but reasonable to assume that if you return a drive to China, someone will be officially tasked with finding out what’s on it.


7 posted on 07/26/2009 1:53:44 PM PDT by fso301
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To: poiuqwer

Since you are technical, take the drive out of the case and attach it directly to your computer’s disk controller, using the appropriate IDE or SATA data and power cables.

You may also want to try mounting it on a Linux system, both as a USB device and, out of the box, as just another hard drive.

If the drive is truly dead, then get a BIG FAT MAGNET and bulk erase the drive before returning it. That should erase most if not all of your data. I believe there are even bulk erase machines that could do an even better job of it.


8 posted on 07/26/2009 1:53:53 PM PDT by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: poiuqwer
Well, I can't comment on your paranoia, but I wouldn't ship anything back to anyone with sensitive data on it. Any reason why you can't remove the hard drive and access it with a sata cable? I've never had one apart so I'm asking if at some level they are not just plugged into a USB to SATA converter. If you could, then you could retrieve your data and erase the drive before shipping it back. If not, the very minimum of taking a huge magnet to it might work?
9 posted on 07/26/2009 1:55:39 PM PDT by bitterohiogunclinger (America held hostage - day 163)
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To: poiuqwer

One of my clients, a major midwest refinery, does not permit the use of USB flash drives for security reasons.


10 posted on 07/26/2009 1:55:47 PM PDT by Fred Hayek (From this point forward the Democratic Party will be referred to as the Communist Party)
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To: poiuqwer

You may want to contact the following:

Central Intelligence Agency
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C. 20505
Phone

(703) 482-0623

FAX: (703) 482-1739


11 posted on 07/26/2009 1:55:54 PM PDT by Signalman
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To: poiuqwer

12 posted on 07/26/2009 1:56:59 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: bitterohiogunclinger

If you’re going to take it apart, you might as well replace the bad part yourself.


13 posted on 07/26/2009 1:57:09 PM PDT by benjibrowder (For Neda. May God bless those fighting for freedom.)
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To: Fred Hayek
One of my clients, a major midwest refinery, does not permit the use of USB flash drives for security reasons.

Neither does the Dept. of Defense.

14 posted on 07/26/2009 1:58:36 PM PDT by jude24
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To: jude24

Or my place of work


15 posted on 07/26/2009 1:59:32 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: poiuqwer

Most of these are just a harddrive wrapped in complex plastic, so if you really wanted to make sure it was a USB problem you could crack that beast open and plug the drive into the computer.

Do people really send these things in for repair? My drive busted I just bought a new one. Since it’s just a backup anyway I couldn’t lose anything. And do the Chinese really need our illegal MP3s? That’s what occupies most of the space on these things.


16 posted on 07/26/2009 2:00:53 PM PDT by discostu (Jeff's imagination has gone beyond the fringe of audience comprehension)
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To: poiuqwer

You ship it to an address in the US.

They probably just check to see it is one of theirs, send you another one, and throw it out.


17 posted on 07/26/2009 2:01:45 PM PDT by proxy_user
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To: Westbrook

I could, but why? I have the drives redundant with RAID stiped, and the manufactured will just send me a new one. I’m not concerned about my data; it’s already protected. I’m just wondering about a big scary possible picture.


18 posted on 07/26/2009 2:03:30 PM PDT by poiuqwer
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To: poiuqwer

a terabyte and multiples thereof is a LOT of data, probably mostly used by corporate and gummint agencies. Your concern seems entirely plausible to me, and as one who has opened every HD I have ever discarded in order to destroy the actual physical media, I will continue to do so......but I have the luxury of needing another lifetime or two before actually needing more than 60 or so gigs, LOL


19 posted on 07/26/2009 2:03:55 PM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68 (CALL CONGRESSCRITTERS TOLL-FREE @ 1-800-965-4701)
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To: Fred Hayek
One of my clients, a major midwest refinery, does not permit the use of USB flash drives for security reasons.

I'm only talking about 1 TB external USB hard disks -- not flash drives. But I suppose the same argument applies for them as well.

20 posted on 07/26/2009 2:06:13 PM PDT by poiuqwer
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