I was at school when we tested a PowerPoint presentation on one of the school's laptops. Apparently, when we got home, many of my classmates told me that the laptop gave a "shortcut virus" on their USB flash drives. The flash drives contained a shortcut to the flash drive itself, which would lead to nothing. Files would have to be recovered.

I haven't plugged in the flash drive to my Mac yet. I have no antivirus installed and I'm not sure if flash drives are scanned prior to being shown on macOS. If I plug it in, will it give a virus to my Mac?


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  • Do your affected classmates use Windows laptops? – klanomath Jan 8 '18 at 11:06
  • Yup. I believe I'm the only one with a Mac who inserted a flash drive on the laptop at school. – Ron Jan 11 '18 at 11:23

A shortcut to itself is not an issue. One on the flash drive will not cause issues when connected to macOS or even when interacted with.

As an example, you'll find a ‘recursive’ link already in macOS: /Volumes/Macintosh HD/.

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  • I see. However, my classmates reported that their files are gone. The school laptop was a Windows one. – Ron Jan 8 '18 at 11:43

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