I give a USB flash drive to a friend. He returns it. I don't have a particular reason to suspect my friend of any wrongdoing, but I suspect his computer might be infected. I don't need to browse the flash drive - just make it safe to use again. My thinking is to disconnect all drives, boot DBAN from CD/DVD, insert the flash drive in question, wipe it and then it should be relatively safe to use again.

Any problems that I'm not seeing here?

Do I need to disconnect all drives if they are encrypted - i.e. if there is a payload on the USB drive where would it save itself if they disks are encrypted?

  • 1
    DBAN will only wipe out the content area of the drive, not the firmware regions which are actually far more dangerous.
    – Ben Voigt
    Nov 13, 2017 at 17:17
  • @BenVoigt its funny how your automatic comment has more upvotes than the required amount to close the question.
    – Mindwin
    Nov 13, 2017 at 18:18
  • 1
    @Mindwin: It takes a lot less rep to upvote a comment than cast a close vote.
    – Ben Voigt
    Nov 13, 2017 at 18:20

1 Answer 1


You need to use a USB Drive with some type of firmware control. It's the only way to ensure that the firmware present on the device is identical to the firmware on the device when the vendor created it.

You always need to be able to trust the vendor. Anyone can sell you a USB that has malware on it and you'll never know unless you examine the firmware manually.

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