I'm on a macBook Air running Mojave and I was given a USB drive containing video files (.mp4, .mkv, .avi) gotten using a torrent program.

I don't know the original location of the files, and need a modern, up to date way to scan the USB files for potential malware on these large files of about 1GB each.

I found that exploits can be stored in these files—like AVI files—here:

Can AVI files contain a virus?

  • FWIW, is there a real concern here? Will these files be shared on a Windows machine? I mean of course it would be nice to ensure all files are 100% clean but on macOS there is zero chance of an issue. – JakeGould May 17 at 15:34

Assuming you are on Windows and have installed an anti-virus product, then in Explorer right-click the disk and select the anti-virus.

This could be similar to : "Scan with Windows Defender..."

For the Mac, this depends on which anti-virus you have installed. Many of them can scan connected devices like external hard drives.

If you don't have an anti-virus, you should get one. See for example the article
The best free antivirus platforms for Mac in 2019.

  • Updated question to reflect I'm on macBook Air - macOS . – J.M. May 17 at 14:58
  • Updated answer for the Mac. – harrymc May 17 at 15:26

If you read the link that you added about viruses from an avi file, you would have found that your chances of getting a virus from ANY video file are next to ZERO. Look at the #1 answer.

AVI files are not only not executable, on a file system like yours, the EXECUTABLE bit must be set in the permissions to execute code from it (which would never happen on its own).

If you are still spooked by it, download one of the many free malware/antivirus scanners available to MacOS. I personally would suggest malwarebytes because it isn't intrusive and doesn't require running in the background.

Good Luck!

  • His virusscanner gives a warning, so something was found. That means that this answer not providing an answer to the question. – LPChip May 17 at 15:30
  • @LPChip How do you know he got a warning? I don’t see that in his question at all… Not even in past edits. – JakeGould May 17 at 15:33
  • Thanks @JackGould. Even if a virus scanner gave a warning (which I don't see in this post), it doesn't change the fact that the code isn't executable. – Señor CMasMas May 17 at 15:37
  • Your last paragraph is just "fake facts from teh interwebz". The rest of it is fine, but either remove that last para, or cite some actual reference that will refute apple.com/macos/security – Tetsujin May 17 at 15:42
  • Fair enough @Tetsujin. Removed. – Señor CMasMas May 17 at 15:49

Download an antivirus of your choice (since MacOS doesn't have a built-in antivirus) to scan your files.

Yes, virus can come on media files but just because it was downloaded via a P2P method (aka torrent) doesn't mean it got virus inside (you can download Linux distros with a torrent client for example).

And since you're on MacOS, the probability of getting infected is significantly lower than a Windows PC. Even lower on media files.

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