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Use Same Mouse/Keyboard on Infected Comp and Non-Infected??

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by =MGN=RedEagle, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. =MGN=RedEagle

    =MGN=RedEagle Well-Known Member

    Hi guys,

    Is it safe to use the same keyboard and mouse on a virus infected computer as a non-infected computer?

    Keyboards these days seem to come with built in software and thus must have a small amount of memory... right?
  2. Vincent

    Vincent Well-Known Member

    Virusses only infect Software.

    Mouses or keyboards have firmware, which shouldn't be affected by virusses. Only the programs that drive the firmware can be affected, but that doesn't affect the keyboard/mouse itself though.
  3. =MGN=RedEagle

    =MGN=RedEagle Well-Known Member


    What are some of the big differences with firmware and software?
  4. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    While rare, there IS malware out there that targets the firmware in certain keyboards. And once nailed, your entire system is at risk. There are also proof of concept viruses that can target your GPU and NIC.
    Tracy Perry likes this.
  5. SilverCircle

    SilverCircle Well-Known Member

    + the BIOS in some extreme cases, which is particularly nasty and incurable, unless you're an expert at such things since wiping out and re-installing everything wouldn't help a single bit.

    Sadly, no more hardware BIOS write protection (aka BIOS-read-only jumper) on most modern mainboards, thanks to the general "we want everything as easy as possible and don't give a damn about security" crowd.
  6. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

  7. =MGN=RedEagle

    =MGN=RedEagle Well-Known Member

    Ok so I have a computer with a whole bunch of viruses I was sent by people who do not love me :). I keep them there and use them to test stuff like virus programs. Most of these viruses seem really simple things written for mass attacks on many people. I am almost 100% sure none of these are deliberately sent to me personally. Guess I should still buy a new mouse and keyboard for that computer right? 1 of them is targeted toward computers and like 5-7 are came via attacks on servers.

    I am guessing I can use the same monitor though, right?
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  8. Jesepi

    Jesepi Well-Known Member

    Don't worry about any of that. The only thing you should be cautious of is storage devices such as USB thumbdrives, SD cards or External HDDs. Anything that you can store files on could have something "bad" loaded onto it. Keyboards, mouse, speakers and monitors, iphone chargers and the like shouldn't be a point of concern.
  9. =MGN=RedEagle

    =MGN=RedEagle Well-Known Member

  10. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    Software update?
  11. Teapot

    Teapot Well-Known Member

    If your keyboard or mouse is an all-singing, all-dancing programmable model - if it has onboard memory to store macros, settings, etcetera, and interfaces with the PC to update them - there's a very small chance someone might program a virus to cause havoc with it. However, it must be noted that the chances of this actually happening are akin to being struck by lightning while tap-dancing in space. If you're truly worried, get a different mouse/keyboard - ideally a non-programmable one. They're cheap enough that it's worth it for peace of mind alone.

    I would say there's a line between cautious and paranoid, though, and worrying that a virus is going to infect your mouse, keyboard, monitor or other mostly-dumb input device, probably steps across it.

    Do be careful of storage devices like hard drives, SD cards, and USB memory, though, they can hold nasties and there's plenty of examples of viruses that take advantage of this fact.

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