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I encountered a puzzling situation the other day when I plugged in a USB flash drive. Windows defender displayed an alert saying that a threat had been quarantined, specifically the Jenxcus VBS virus. This is especially alarming given the preceding events. This flash drive is one I have had for a while but was empty. I then put some PDFs onto it, and succeeded in running down to my local Staples and printing at one of their printing kiosks, which you use by plugging in a USB drive. As far as I can remember, since then and until now, the drive has not been plugged into another machine. Now, all of a sudden, it has been infected by a virus. So, my question is, could the flash drive possibly have been infected by being plugged into the Staples printer?

My reasoning so far is that the drive couldn't have been infected before going to print, because this virus seems to overwrite every file on the infected drive with a shortcut pointing to the VBS malware. I was able to print my files just fine, which I wouldn't have been able to do if that were the case, presumably. Also, the only compromised files the Defender report listed were those on the flash drive themselves. I have since run a virus scan (Malwarebytes) which detected nothing. I also checked the registry values which the Microsoft page claims are changed by this virus, and they don't seem to have been manipulated at all. I have since disposed of the drive. So again, should I be worried at all that I have a virus somewhere? Or is possible that the virus came from the printer? I've always thought that was pretty impossible, but I'm puzzled.

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Yes.

The printer kiosk has an Operating System that could itself be infected and infecting other devices that are connected to it. On the one hand, such system will be used by a large number of users, so the chance that a previously infected usb drive was connected there is quite high. One would assume that the design of such system should have taken into account that possibility and that the system had been hardened to avoid possible infections... but at the same time, security is not a tangible property that adds value to the kiosk (even though tangent insecurity degrades it!), and was thus likely neglected, or not properly addressed.

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