From the comments on the link you provided, I gather there is some disagreement about whether and to what extent the firmware on a typical "thumb drive" can be modified. I don't know enough about thumb-drive hardware, or the way in which the firmware operates, to judge the merits of the various comments.
We all learned years ago to disable the "autorun" function; I gather that is now done automatically in the newer OS versions (it was a Windows update quite some years ago).
Of course I am wondering if I am safe. I have a half dozen or so flash drives. I have two computers at home and three in the office. Nobody else has physical access to my computers at home. At the office I am the sole user of the two laptops (one very old and about to be retired). The office desktop is used by my secretary (7 years on the job, very trustworthy) and occasionally by one other staff member to process payments in the secretary's absence. He is relatively new (2 years) but I've known his family for years (his father was the pastor of a local church) and I'd say he is also trustworthy. This is a very small town and one does get to know who is reliable and who is not <G>.
Anyway there is one thumb drive I use frequently for sneakernet between the new office laptop and the desktop, and rarely also to transfer extra backup copies of office files I keep on an external hard drive attached to one of my home computers. Attached, that is, when I am uploading or downloading files, not at other times. One 32 GB flash drive holds the factory-restore files for the office laptop (that drive resides in a fireproof office safe and of course is never used for anything else) and another (residing permanently in my desk drawer at home, I can't yet afford a safe) serves the same function for my home laptop.
None of those thumb drives has ever been connected to an "outside" computer ... except the sneakernet one, which has downloaded files to the computers of our respected auditors in their offices on, I think, two occasions. The files downloaded were QuickBooks backup files.
Question arising, is this still safe, or do I need to dedicate a new (and cheap) flash drive to the auditors, to be discarded after each use (once a year, normally)?
Edited by saluqi, 10 August 2014 - 10:48 PM.