Carrying flash drives with Windows viruses


I plugged my 2-GB Yahoo! flash drive in a Windows XP-running machine to transfer files. When I plugged it back to my Linux box, I got an unwanted visitor file lining up: MY DOCUMENTS.exe. Point to the image above.

I have encountered this problem several times already. One time, at a seminar where I was about to give a presentation (a MS Powerpoint-exported Impress presentation running on a Windows laptop), I was surprised by warning messages flashing on the LCD, caused by viruses found on my flash disk. Apparently amazed as well, few of my friends who knew my Linux ‘fanaticism’ asked loudly: “May virus din sa Linux? We thought you were a Linux advocate?”

So I had to explain to them the reason behind the viruses found in my flash drive: That those were acquired from the various Windows machines I plugged my flash drive in. True, I admitted to them, while my Linux files are safe from these viruses, any Windows computer I’ll plug my infected drive will surely acquire them, unless it has tough anti-virus software installed.

My (unwarranted) advice to those owning flash drives, particularly for Linux/BSD enthusiasts: In the absence of a technology for anti-virus-ready flash drives (is there?), do care to check your gadgets before you use them in another Windows machine.

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