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Explore vs Open


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#1
TheQuickBrownFox

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Hi guys, my firends told me that if I RightCLick->Explore on my flash disk rather than Open it, viruses inside the flash disk won't run. Is this true?

Also, what's the difference between Open and Explore? Aside from the hierarchical tree with pluses and minuses at the side that goes with an Explore window.

Does anyone know?
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#2
Artellos

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Hi guys, my firends told me that if I RightCLick->Explore on my flash disk rather than Open it, viruses inside the flash disk won't run. Is this true?


I've never heard of this before and don't think this is true. However a Tech Staff might correct me on this.
Then again, you shouldn't have viruses on your flash drive because if you use them on other computers you might infect those.

Regards,
Olrik
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#3
TheQuickBrownFox

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Then again, you shouldn't have viruses on your flash drive because if you use them on other computers you might infect those.


Actually it's supposed to be like this: I plug my flash drive into a public PC in school or internet cafes. There's a high probability that it gets infected with malware. I need to plug in my flsh disk on my or any other machine. I was told that if I Explore my flash disk instead of Open it, the malware inside wouldn't run.

Is this true? I don't see any reason why it would be, but I'm not am expert on this. SOmeone please verify. Thanks! :)
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#4
Artellos

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I plug my flash drive into a public PC in school or internet cafes. There's a high probability that it gets infected with malware.

Explain the people there they need virus scanners :)

Regards,
Olrik
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#5
Ztruker

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Actually, this is true, as long as you don't click on any executable (exe,com,bat,etc), image (jpg,gif,tiff,etc), document (doc,rtf,etc) or pretty much anything other than text files :)

Unfortunately, if the flas drive has an autorun.inf file on it then that will execute when you plug the flash drive in and since it can be hijacked like any other file, it could infect your system before you even had a chance to explore the drive.
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#6
TheQuickBrownFox

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Explain the people there they need virus scanners :)


:) We do know virus scanners don't see 'em all. Some malware are :)

Actually, this is true, as long as you don't click on any executable (exe,com,bat,etc), image (jpg,gif,tiff,etc), document (doc,rtf,etc) or pretty much anything other than text files


So if RightClick->Open the FlashDrive, it "clicks" the executables inside the drive? Am I understanding this correctly?
But word documents in the drive don't execute once I Open the flsh disk.
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#7
Ztruker

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So if RightClick->Open the FlashDrive, it "clicks" the executables inside the drive? Am I understanding this correctly?
But word documents in the drive don't execute once I Open the flsh disk.


Yes, if there is a autorun.inf, it will either execute when the drive is plugged in or when you click on Open. Otherwise any executables on the drive will not run just by opening it.

Word documents can only cause grief when you open them in Word.

Edited by Ztruker, 24 April 2008 - 06:09 PM.

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#8
TheQuickBrownFox

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Ah...I see. So it's true that Explore is safer than Open. Thanks Ztruker. :)
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#9
Ztruker

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Yes, but .... a very big but .... if there is an autorun.inf file on the flash drive it will execute as soon as you plug it in, before you have a chance to Open or Explore and an infection can spread that way completely without your interaction or knowledge.

Edited by Ztruker, 25 April 2008 - 04:19 PM.

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#10
TheQuickBrownFox

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Even if I hold down Shift?
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#11
Artellos

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Yes mate.
The moment you plug in anything that has an "Autorun.inf" on the medium (CD, Flash Drive, External HDD, etc.).
But If you don't trust the PC you're going to put your flash drive in then don't do it.
The best protection there is common sense. If you know the PC is infected you're not going to put your Flash Drive in there right? :)

Regards,
Olrik
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#12
Ztruker

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Holding down the Shift key does prevent autorun from executing so that looks reasonably safe. I tried it with two different flash drives and in both cases, with the shift key held down, autorun did not start.

As a side benefit, that seems to wipe out XP's knowledge of what to do with the drive the next time it's connected normally. When I did this, it asked me what action I wanted taken. Nice!

Artellos, I don't think the concern was about the flash drive being contaminated from an infected system, but the other way around. Infecting a system by plugging in an infected flash drive.

At least that is what I got from this thread.
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#13
Artellos

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Ah Right :)
More learned for me then!
I appologize for not understanding correctly. :)

Regards,
Olrik
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#14
Ztruker

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No problemo Olrik, your posts are excellent. I've learned form them.

Did you try the Shift key trick? Pretty neat.
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#15
TheQuickBrownFox

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O'right! Thanks Ztruker and Artellos/Olrik. One thing I'd like to mention though. I inserted my flash disk and held down the shift key. As expected, it prevented autorun. I inserted it again but I didn't hold down the shift key cause I forgot. There was no autorun and I was surprised. Does the system remember that I "shifted" that flash disk? There was also no window where it asks me what to do.
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