I have some generic USB C-to-A and A-to-C adapters that were bought cheaply.

I thought that if any of them had any advanced capabilities (other than being "dumb" adapters) such as mimicking HID (keyboard, mouse) or allowing something like an attack via a USB cable then it would have to appear under 'Device Manager' in Windows (or the equivalent in Linux) since it would need the OS to install drivers so it could communicate with the relevant hardware, though I'm not sure my logic is correct and if so whether it'd be a "100% validation".

What would be the best way to check (preferably in Windows / Linux) that a USB adapter is indeed an innocent "dumb" adapter and was not designed with advanced malicious capabilities in mind? Is my proposed solution a good one and if so is it a sure validation or are there ways in which such a malicious USB adapter could be invisible to the OS?

  • @hft Yes, it does for the most part. The first answer seems to confirm my suspicion that it should appear as a device in the OS and suggests to check it thusly. I still makes me wonder though whether there're exceptions such as known attacks in which the device can gain access to the hardware/OS without being logged as a device in the OS (ie: still remain invisible in lsusb in Linux, Device manager in Windows etc).
    – Amit
    Feb 7, 2021 at 12:14
  • You should edit your question to those points not answered on the duped!
    – kelalaka
    Feb 7, 2021 at 12:55


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