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frenchie

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Reply with quote  #1 
I just received a usb stick from a supplier which, upon insertion in a usb port, automatically launches the windows run command, types in the supplier's website address and launches my default browser. At the same time, the usb device doesn't appear as a drive in explorer, nor does it show up in the Disk Manager, or as any kind of device in the Device Manager.

If I hold down the <Shift> key while inserting the device, the action doesn't occur, so it would appear to be a "standard" autorun feature - but why can't I see the device and it's contents?

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Steve (Frenchie) France
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donoli

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Reply with quote  #2 
What was the brand name of the USB drive?
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Pieter

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Reply with quote  #3 
It's probably a protected USB stick.  What do you want to achieve ?
If their is nothing on the stick that you want to keep and you just want to use it as a memory stick, than you could try to format it.
Or use diskpart.exe to clean/delete/format the usb stick. Be careful with diskpart though. Very easy and helpful tool to wipe your C-drive too. No fun. You have been warned.

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Pieter Demeulemeester
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frenchie

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Reply with quote  #4 
So, firstly, there are no manufacturer's identification markings on the device, only a sticker from the supplier and a Patent No. Nothing under the sticker either.

A "protected usb" device?! Sounds sinister...

What I wanted to do with the drive is view its contents, determine its size etc, then reformat it and potentially use it in the office. Always a use for a small flash drive. However, because it doesn't show up in explorer, disk management or device manager, I can't get any information from it or format it.

My concern is that this kind of device, distributed to probably hundreds if not thousands of customers of this supplier, could potentially cause enormous damage if infected with malware. Of course, anyone silly enough to just go plugging one of these in to their laptop...

Really, I just wanted to see what was on it.

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Steve (Frenchie) France
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donoli

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
However, because it doesn't show up in explorer, disk management or device manager, I can't get any information from it or format it.


When you received the USB stick, did you have to open a sealed package, to use it? 
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frenchie

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donoli


When you received the USB stick, did you have to open a sealed package, to use it? 


Yep - it was in a supplier branded bubble protected envelope from their Hong Kong based marketing arm.

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Steve (Frenchie) France
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donoli

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Reply with quote  #7 
Normally, the fact that it was packaged properly would stop me, from suspecting a "road apple" of sorts.  A "road apple" is a USB drive or a CD, left someplace where it might be found & inserted into a PC. Once inserted, a trojan would run & send info to whomever supplied it.

However, in post #4, you said:

Quote:
So, firstly, there are no manufacturer's identification markings on the device, only a sticker from the supplier and a Patent No. Nothing under the sticker either.


Who is the supplier & the patent # of the mystery device?
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frenchie

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donoli
Who is the supplier & the patent # of the mystery device?


The supplier is RS Components. The patent number is embossed on the device and reads as follows:
PATENTED
ZL 2010200002751.4

My limited research leads me to believe this is a Chinese patent, registered in 2010, being a type '2' patent (patent for utility model), with serial number 0002751, with a check digit of 4.

I tried searching using various methods for a patent with this number, but the closest I got was an application number for a 3D puzzle!

No closer to unravelling this mystery...

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Steve (Frenchie) France
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Pieter

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
A "protected usb" device?! Sounds sinister...


It's quite common. Many marketing guys don't want you to delete their information on the usb stick.
But it's quite uncommon that you can't see anything on it.
Could be malware. Better be careful.



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Pieter Demeulemeester
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Mark

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Reply with quote  #10 
I guess if you're defining the device pnp-wise then it'd be easy to define a volume as read-only.
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donoli

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Toll Free  1800 103 5282  sales@rs-components.co.in


It's an Indian company.  There is the contact info.
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wobble_wobble

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Reply with quote  #12 
If I can get you to run my software on your computer it's no longer your computer.
Take USB and throw it in the bin.
Then do full AV, Malware and Ransom ware scans.

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/rhalbheer/2011/06/16/ten-immutable-laws-of-security-version-2-0/

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donoli

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Reply with quote  #13 
After you do everything that wobble said, find a new supplier.
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