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2GB USB Anomaly

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posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 09:56 AM
I lent a 2GB USB drive to a friend last week. Today it was inserted into a computer within a computer lab and was found to contain 207 folders in arabic in addition to the files that are meant to be there. Inside each of these folders is a file with 'a wierd N', as described to me by my friend. I don't know what the file extensions or the contents are as of yet. Tomorrow I will be able to have a look as the USB stick is being returned to me.

--The reason I post here:
1) Virus scanners didn't pick up any viruses on the USB. I'm hoping its just some sort of malicious code but it seems very strange. I've spent a lot of time with computers and never seen anything like it is described to me.
2) The files cannot be deleted.
3) The USB has only been inserted into 2 private laptops since it was bought from the shop and formatted. It has been inserted into approximately 6-10 computers at learning institutions.
4) My friend sent me two messages via SMS reguarding these folders that never came through. All other messages throughout the day worked instantly with this same individual.

I don't know maybe I'm just paranoid, it just seems really strange for something to appear on my memory stick like that. I wanna know what its doing there.

Anyway, if anyone knows what this is or what it could be, I'd appreciate it.

Tomorrow I get it back. I should be able to get the file extensions (each file is approx 1MB in size apparently, how the hell can 207MB of stuff in arabic appear on my drive?)

If this sounds as strange to you guys as it does to me it might also be an idea to get the folder names translated. Anyway one step at a time I haven't even seen it for myself yet.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 10:21 AM
how do you know it's arabic? it could just be a corrupt filesystem. i'm betting you're just seeing files/fodlers with random characters in the filenames, not unlike what you might see here:

that doesn't mean you don't have some external mechanism that's creating those directores/files or corrupting the ones that are there, i'm just willing to bet it's not as nefarious as you imagine.

i woudl advise you to copy all of your useable data off of it, scan those files for viruses (make sure your definitions are current), format it, and copy everything back.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 10:32 AM
Yeah I'm well aware of the ASCII table, its my friend that has said its arabic so I'm taking it as that until I get my hands on the drive tomorrow.

That said, ASCII and arabic text are not exactly similar...

Anyway I'm just being paranoid I'm sure, just seemed strange to hear about it. I'll let yas know anyway so we can close the matter and find out what is going on pronto.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 10:49 AM
I actually think it is more probable that terrorists or the evil US government is hacking your device.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 11:08 AM
reply to post by SectionSeventeen

Indeed. But these days filesystems use UTF not ASCII, so Arabic characters (which are in UTF8 and not ASCII) being returned in a corruption are at least a possibility.

Couple that with the fact that the FAT might have been being written when the drive was removed, which could mean that the files AND the contents don't actually exist on the disk, only that the FAT reports they do.

Don't get concerned about it.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 11:20 AM
indeed. i've corrupted a few thumb drives by just yanking them out when it looked like there was no activity. i always use the safe-removal tool from the tray now.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 03:50 PM

Originally posted by an0maly33
indeed. i've corrupted a few thumb drives by just yanking them out when it looked like there was no activity. i always use the safe-removal tool from the tray now.


Same, just be sure the light is off before removing it.

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 12:36 AM
Now that I've had a look it seems much less dramatic than was described to me. It appears to be some sort of artefact caused by the OS.

Copying off my needed files and formatting the drive cleared them off.

I know I probably got a little excited, but it was described to me in an exaggerated manner. Having a look myself its obviously some sort of flash error. Apparently this used to happen to floppy discs all the time.

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