I have some usb pen drives that I'm not using because I'm unsure of their content. This drives traveled among some university friends and photo copy shops (you know.. shops with win xp, no security updates, 99% chance to get some virus or malware on the usb drives).

What I'm searching for is a CD/DVD bootable linux distro seriously hardened with this features:

  • hardening must be high preventing possible viruses/malware inside the pen drives to run/install rootkits on internal computer HDD and it's firmware, internal computer uefi bootloader and it's firmware. TL;DR: if possible unless for 0-day exploits it would be nice if this distro could be immune to any USB tricks discovered so far to make mess.

  • tools for totally sanitize, deep level format of the usb drives cleaning both the header part (mbr, gpt, and so on) and the data part. My goal here is revert if possible this drives back as they was from factory giving back me the enough trust to have them used back in production environment.


  • tools allowing an average Joe (not a super security pro) also to check if the drive effectively had viruses and recover possible interesting data before doing the deep format part.

My main goal is still just revert back the flash drives back to the factory status :)

PS: I would like to use this distro as burned iso CD/DVD without internet connection, so a possible antivirus shipped inside the distro should already be packed updated with all latest viral signatures on it.

Needless to say that the distro have to be updated frequently and i will burn the DVD with latest updates each time.


  • do BSD use different drivers respect normal Linux ones?
  • Kernel should be different no?
  • Which could be considered more secure between the two?
  • Or one could go for some plain unix variant?
  • Ubcd and / or dban
    – Marged
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 15:40

2 Answers 2


Have a look at parted magic. It has a basic virus scanner and software to format drives among other things and can be burn to disk or USB.

You can get the last free version from majorgeek


A whatever unix distro support dd command.

Using the command in a fashion like:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/usb_device_name bs=1M

where usb_device_name changes among the various distros, you have to guess the correct name with other commands like fdisk -l

Should sanitize the data and mbr part.

This still don't answer about possible advanced scans and even on firmware revert as asked in the first post but is something.

The resistance to possible exploits also depends on the distro and the hardware where the distro runs on, an updated live cd runned on old known hardware could do the trick.

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