Your computer might be spying on you

#1
I just read this, how can this be acceptable at all?

NetFlash: Samsung installs keylogger on its laptops

Samsung installs keylogger on its laptops

User discovers that Samsung is pre-loading keyloggers on its laptop computers.

By Jeff Caruso on Wed, 03/30/11 - 12:05pm.



[UPDATE: Samsung has launched an investigation into the matter and is working with Mich Kabay and Mohamed Hassan in the investigation. Samsung engineers are collaborating with the computer security expert, Mohamed Hassan, MSIA, CISSP, CISA, with faculty at the Norwich University Center for Advanced Computing and Digital Forensics, and with the antivirus vendor whose product identified a possible keylogger (or which may have issued a false positive). The company and the University will post news as fast as possible on Network World. A Samsung executive is personally delivering a randomly selected laptop purchased at a retail store to the Norwich scientists. Prof. Kabay praises Samsung for its immediate, positive and collaborative response to this situation.]
A user discovered a keylogger pre-installed on two brand-new Samsung laptops that the company admitted was there to "monitor the performance of the machine and to find out how it is being used."
Mohamed Hassan wrote in Mich Kabay’s Security Strategies newsletter that as soon as he received his Samsung R525 laptop, he ran a full system scan and found a commercial keylogger called StarLogger.
StarLogger claims it records every keystroke made on the computer, even on password-protected boxes, starting up whenever the computer starts up. The software emails results at intervals to a specified email address and will even include screen captures.
Hassan ended up buying a second Samsung laptop, a model R540, and found the same keylogger installed on that one.
"The fact that on both models the same files were found in the same location supported the suspicion that the hardware manufacturer, Samsung, must know about this software on its brand-new laptops," he writes.
Hassan reports that at first Samsung Support personnel denied that they installed the software and directed him to Microsoft, but then eventually admitted that Samsung was responsible.
As Hassan notes, the incident is reminiscent of the Sony BMG rootkit fiasco of 2005. At the time, Sony BMG used a rootkit to monitor computer user behavior and limit how music CDs were used on the computer.
Kabay says that Samsung has not responded to further requests for comment.


Samsung Reportedly Installing Keyloggers On Its Laptops


Update: Samsung has said they are looking into this: “Samsung takes Mr. Hassan’s claims very seriously. After learning of the original post this morning on NetworkWorld.com, we launched an internal investigation into this issue. We will provide further information as soon as it is available.” So far Hassan is the only person to report this, so it could be any number of things, including a false alarm or a bad retailer.
This is… potentially disturbing. Mohamed Hassan recently purchased a brand-new Samsung laptop, an R525. As part of his normal setup procedure, he ran a complete scan with security software and found a keylogger installed in the Windows directory. Now, Samsung wouldn’t be the first company to accidentally ship infected computers — Asus had such a disaster back in 2008.
Thinking this might be the case, Hassan removed the keylogger (Star Logger in C:\Windows\SL) and went about his business. But after an issue with the display driver a short time later, he returned the laptop and picked up a higher-end R540. Lo and behold, on running his security scan, Star Logger was found yet again!
This isn’t some system failure logging utility, by the way. It’s a full-blown keylogger that records every key press.
 

Vladd

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
5,561
England
#3
Reading the comments on the article I see some people say that this is just a misunderstanding. Of course they could be working for Samsung.
article comments said:
By Anon (not verified) on Thu, 03/31/2011 - 1:07am.

For an IT security expert, this guy is pretty clueless.

The folder / file is a legitimate .mui file created when installing windows Live.

I would recommend against hiring him for your network security needs as he will probably delete Outlook because it records your keystrokes and emails them to someone!
article comments said:
By Anon (not verified) on Thu, 03/31/2011 - 2:26am.

This story is completely false - what this Network Security Expert found was a legitimate language file installed by Window's live - in short, there is not and never was a keylogger.

:: ???? ??? :: Samsung laptops are in fact secure

The statements that Samsung installs keylogger on R525 and R540
laptop computers are false.

After investigating into this matter, it was found that the software installed
was in fact Vipre, not the commerical keylogger called StarLogger.
The confusion arose because Microsoft's Live Application multi-language
support folder, "SL" folder, was mistaken for StarLogger

(Live Application is Microsoft's application which provides messenger, email,
video, photo gallery functions. Depending on the language, under
C:\windows folders "SL" for Slovak, "KO" for Korean, "EN" for English are created.)

Samsung will continue to respect customer needs by providing the highest
quality products and services.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,807
Sydney
#7
just out of interest what's to dislike about McAfee and what's to like about Webroot ?
ease , not obtrusive , cost , good client relations .....
I'm looking for a good product now
 
Aug 2018
259
Southern Indiana
#8
just out of interest what's to dislike about McAfee and what's to like about Webroot ?
ease , not obtrusive , cost , good client relations .....
I'm looking for a good product now
The first thing I hate about McAfee is that once installed, it is nearly impossible to remove. McAfee even has it's own wikipedia page for it's critics. I use Webroot for my business, it's easy and dependable.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,807
Sydney
#9
For McAfee removal I do concur ,
at the time ,I solved the problem by getting a new computer and not installing it
 
Feb 2014
185
Miami
#10
There is no might. And it isn’t your computer. The modern age of big brother means every government watched their citizens who meets a certain criteria. When someone like pewdewpie is seen as a radical and a threat to the USA security, you know something is wrong with the world
 

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