Did I give my grandmothers pc a virus via a thumb drive from my mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jazzandmetal?, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Jazzandmetal? macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2008
    So I bought a thumb drive from target (Lexar) and loaded a bunch of photos from my Mac to the drive. No other files, just photos and little movies from iphoto that were mad on my digital cam or iphone.

    She plugged the drive in and her computer blanked out and nothing would run. It changed her "verizon" browser logo to ADV and a pop up came up telling her to install a virus scanner. My aunt went over there to help her and ran virus scan and found 9 "viruses". She scanned the drive but nothing came up. She told me though that all the negative activity showed on the virus scan to have started on the date the drive was inserted and that she had to stop all activity after that to access the cpu.

    She said that all the photos on the drive duplicated themselves and there were a ton of hidden files starting with *_Doc. Again, the virus scan detected nothing on the drive but there were hidden files there.

    Could I have transfered something via the thumb drive? One of my friends says it is unlikely but possible and another thinks it was a trojan activated by her putting in the drive.

    The only things that I guess would be necessary info is that the Thumbdrive was brand new, and that I used a digital camera that I sometimes plug into my work pc. Also there was a pic or two that was placed on the thumb drive but removed that I copied the image from the internet.

    Any ideas? I don't want anything bad on my CPU that can hurt other computers.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you took the pics with your camera, put them directly on your Mac, then transferred them to a new empty flash drive, there's no way you could have transferred a virus. While it is possible for you to download or receive virus-infected files to your Mac and then transfer them to a Windows system, none of the activity you described could have done that. If you downloaded anything from the web and put it on the flash drive, that would be a possibility, but if you emptied the drive of its contents, it's unlikely anything on the flash drive was the culprit. It's more likely that her system already had a virus, which may have been triggered by connecting an external drive.
  3. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2009
    Most likely, that's the case. However, I make a practice of reformatting any new drive I get to ensure that it really is clean.
  4. Cboss macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2008
    I think that the hidden files on your thumb drive are for Quicklook on your Mac. When I put files onto my drive and then put it in the Vista machines at my school these Quicklook files always show up.
  5. chill. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    possible but unlikely, plug your flash drive into more PCs to try to reproduce the effect and you have your answer
  6. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2009
    Yeah, one of them is 'Spotlightvt100' or some such thing.

    Plug the drive into a Mac (or any Unix machine for that matter), and open a terminal.

    cd into /Volumes/nameofyourdiskhere. Type ls -la, hit enter, and see what it shows.
  7. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    I"m with GGJStudios that its much more likely plugging a thumb drive on your grandmothers PC activated a virus.
    Especially as (though its not that clear from what you wrote) it seems that your gm didnt even have a virus app on there in the first place?

    The other, very high possibility , probably the most likely in fact, is that the 'pop up' was your gm going to a site that has been infected by one of these fake virus alert pop ups. If she actually installed any app from one of these places she has been well and truly scammed. There is a lot of that going round at the moment.

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