File system fault in FAT32-formatted drives revealed by Morse-code directory names in Windows OS environment. Vulnerability in USB flash/hard drive (PenDrive, Portable External/Internal Hard Drive) case study


The problem described can be reproduced in Microsoft Windows family of operating systems (i.e. Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.1 Enterprise/Pro, 10 Enterprise 21H2, 11 Home 21H2). This is only a sample of operating systems set. Most probably, it exists in all Windows system versions but with a bit different behaviour – described later in this text. This quite unusual problem was encountered by coincidence.  Most computer users have stored at least one directory on a disk and store some data in it. It is also usual that some other directory is created on the same directory-tree level. Some folder names, with special characters, may surprise the user and influence user data.  What is this problem and how can one reproduce it? Definitions Denote base folder as folder name with “-“ characters (short hyphen minus), e.g. "a - b" (please note that name is in quotation marks, they are not part....

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