I plugged in a wireless mouse receiver while browsing its manufacturer’s website. Browser settings that allowed sites access to USB devices were turned off.

The manufacturer’s website, upon the plugging of the receiver, displayed a new webpage element in the form of a welcome message with the model number of the mouse on it and some setup instructions.

How did the receiver communicate with the website?

I trust this manufacturer to have ethics, as it’s a reputable company. But I’m very confused about how this works under the hood

  • 1
    Does the mouse have a special driver or application (something always running in the background)? Either one in theory could interact with client or server side code of the website to inform it what was just plugged in. The application having access to USB and the website receiving websock (or whatever) messages informing it of changes. Without knowing make and model and probably without talking to the manufacturer any answer is likely conjecture.
    – foreverska
    Jul 22, 2022 at 20:54
  • Hadn’t installed any of its software yet by that point. System said setting up device then device ready, just the generic things. I’m new so not sure about the rules - don’t know if asking about a specific brand is okay
    – Egoless
    Jul 22, 2022 at 22:57
  • @foreverska with no application installed, just the receiver plugged in, can the receiver somehow send data to their servers?
    – Egoless
    Jul 22, 2022 at 23:00

1 Answer 1


Windows (INF) drivers allow to specify any commands to be be run part of the installation, which obviously includes things like opening an URL in your default web browser.

Windows starting with Vista (if I'm not mistaken) will install device drivers from Microsoft automatically without any interaction on your side.

Those drivers are all part of the WHQL program which means Microsoft has checked their behavior/functions/etc. and approved it, so normally there's nothing to worry about. If your system was compromised prior to drivers installation, all bets are off.

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