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Well the title kinda ask all, I've been using DriveDroid on Android to emulate a read-only USB drive that I can plug in any machines to copy the files to the PC. I do use the same USB cable.

For attacks like BadUSB is that safer? I would think not, but are they common enough in the wild to worry about and would that read-only protect me against software attacks or things like cryptolocker ?

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I will say that read-only/write-protected USB drives do exist.

One solution (the only I'm aware of) is from KanGuru, which offers a wide variety of USB drives which have a write protection switch. As far as I'm aware of, it uses hardware to block writes. https://www.kanguru.com/

Linux allows for mounting as a read-only drive, but that is an OS specific solution (but does work quite nicely).

Windows can mount NTFS partitions as read-only, but this isn't exactly "plug and play" as USB drive are. https://superuser.com/questions/213005/how-to-mount-an-ntfs-partition-read-only-in-windows#213015

Using Secure Digital (SD) cards is not a solution, as write protection can be ignored by software as it's just a signal, without any implementation in hardware to ignore write requests.

  • But does doing what I'm doing ( linux mounting the drive as read-only ) safer than standard USB drives ? – Freedo Jan 10 '17 at 2:42
  • A hardware based solution will guarantee a disconnect between the host and device. Whereas with Linux, what is stopping rouge software from remounting the drive without a read-only status? Select Kanguru devices are resistant, if not immune to BadUSB according to company: kanguru.com/info/kanguru-statement-on-badusb.shtml – dark_st3alth Jan 10 '17 at 3:02

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