The USB stick can be a device with whatever hidden functionality (exploding when first plugged, transmit any bit passing throught via wifi to an attacker, etc.).
A good point. It actually applies to any modern solid-state media, like the various kinds of memory cards used in cameras and such, because they too are active (the system feeds elecricity in them that can run a processor etc.). So is the only kind of safe media the passive ones like tapes, diskettes and CD:s that spin in the drive and are read magnetically or optically? (And even these are not safe if file system code is buggy).
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