Some time ago, my laptop was infected by some worm/virus, which also spread to my USB sticks and my DSLR's memory card. All photos on the memory card were shown as 1kB files, without a possibility to open them. I dropped all memory cards and USB sticks, and also re-installed Windows on my laptop.

Just a few days ago I bought a new memory card for my DSLR and made some shots. As soon as I plugged the memory card in my laptop, a virus alert popped up, and all files on the memory card were again shown as 1kB files.

The weirdest thing is that the new SD card was not used before, it came just from the wrapping. What makes me more puzzled is the fact that the new SD card at first was tried on my girlfriend's laptop which is running well (no virus issues detected).

Could someone tell me what could be the problem? The DSLR? It does not seem likely to me, but right now I have no other guess.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What A/V software are you using? Are you positive that you used the new card? Did you properly format your former, infested system? \$\endgroup\$
    – flolilo
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/41355/… \$\endgroup\$
    – flolilo
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm guessing the virus has infected your laptop via a "rootkit" that can survive reformatting your hard drive (or SSD) and reinstallation of Windows since rootkits are written to the motherboard's flash memory. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 16:52
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelClark as of now, most rootkits don't write themselves to UEFI (the first one to do so was only recently spotted in the wild, and appears to be targeted). (And given time, UEFI persistence will certainly become more common). Most of the ones that do survive OS reinstallation do so only because the user just reinstalled the OS over the top of itself (usually, without completely rewriting the hard drive). However, your general point is absolutely valid: rootkits and other APTs (advanced persistent threats) try to do their best to persist beyond detection and removal attempts. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 17:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Good point, @flolilolilo! The point about the dedicated virus clean up sites still stands. \$\endgroup\$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


While it is possible, it seems highly unlikely that a system with limited connectivity and little user-population such as a DSLR gets targeted by malware. There is no similarity between manufacturers, let alone between most camera models from the same manufacturer. E.g. try to run a Magic Lantern (a third party "firmware" for some Canon cameras) version for a Canon EOS 5D III on a Canon EOS 5D II or Canon EOS M6. Or a Nikon D4.

The effort to target a DSLR with malware seems to be in no relation to what can be gained by it.

Since it seems that your system is compromised, it would be best to thoroughly "clean" it. See for example superuser's "How can I remove malicious spyware, malware, adware, viruses, trojans or rootkits from my PC?". I still think that either your computer's hard drive was not properly formatted or that your girlfriend's PC infested the new SD card with the malware (Not every malware can be detected by any A/V software). Some malware is really nasty to get rid of, so it might be necessary to think about every step you take from here twice until you are absolutely positive that your system is safe again. For example, do not connect any external media to a system that might be compromised by malware.


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