Hotel Thumbdrive Virus Survey

Posted by Mike on 2011.11.21

Dear Reader,

As I travel frequently I thought that it might be a good idea for me to perform some sort of public service that doesn’t involve talking about the TSA. So I am going to start performing a little survey of computer systems at hotels and see if they happen to try and infect my poor little thumb drive.

So the actual process itself is going to be pretty straight forward:

  1. Freshly format thumb drive as vfat.
  2. Walk down to one (Please note that I won’t be testing all systems) of the complimentary computer systems in the business center or lobby of the hotel.
  3. Connect thumb drive and open in some sort of file manager.
  4. Copy/save a file to the thumb drive.
  5. Safe remove the thumb drive.
  6. Check for any unexpected files on the drive.
  7. Try to perform some form of virus scan on the drive for viruses that may be embedded into a file.

That is the process. For copying/saving a file I am going to fall back on my boarding pass but if I do see an “interesting” file on the desktop I will copy it as well. I will report an interesting file, what type of data it holds but not the actual data of the file. The file will not be saved.

I should make it very clear that I will not use a system that I believe is in use and will not hunt for files to grab. These are files that are left on the desktop or easily identified folder like Downloads or Documents.

So check back and see the Hotel list grow.

- Mike

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