A customer provided an external drive (USB 2.0 and Firewire 800 connections), and wants me to copy files onto the drive. The drive is not new. I have no particular reason to suspect the customer would intentionally send a drive containing malware, but I don't know that the drive is clean.
I'm using Mac OS 10.8.3; is there a significant risk of malware transfer upon connection? Is there a safe way to inspect the drive before copying the files?
EDIT For clarification, I'm concerned about the risk of triggering malware transfer from the USB drive to my computer upon connection. This might be a real risk; I'm asking for confirmation that this transfer-upon-connection risk is real in this scenario, or imagined.
ANOTHER EDIT @Adnan answered the question as stated, and I agree with his answer. I now realize I was also interested in another possibility -- the device might mask its nature or purpose. The USB page on Wikipedia states that USB 3.0 supports a guest device initiating communication with the host upon connection, and that Fireware has always had this capability, while earlier versions of the USB protocol enforce a "speak-when-spoken-to" behavior on guest devices. An external drive is unlikely to initiate communication, but a malicious device might. So if you trust that the device is just an external hard drive, connecting that drive to a Mac OS or Windows computer (with Autorun turned off) is probably not risky by itself. But if the device is not just an external drive (i.e. it's something like the USB Rubber Ducky), there is some risk.