Mar 302011
 March 30, 2011  Posted by  Business, Featured News, Surveillance

Earlier today, M. E. Kabay and Mohamed Hassan Mohamed Hassan reported that some Samsung laptops were being sold with pre-installed keylogger software called StarLogger. If you’re using a Samsung laptop, you will probably want to read their report.

Bob McMillan of IDG News Service followed up and reports that Samsung is investigating the allegations:

Hassan, an IT consultant based in Toronto, said that Samsung tech support told him: “We just put it there to find out how the computer is being used.”

Samsung spokesman Jason Redmond said that his company is looking into Hassan’s allegations. “We take these claims very, very seriously,” he said. He had not previously heard of the problem, or heard of de Willebois Consulting, the company that makes the StarLogger software that Hassan said he found on the laptop. “We have no understanding of a relationship with this company and we have no prior knowledge of this software being on our laptops,” he said.

Was that a confession on Samsung’s part? If so, wow.

In any event, read the coverage on Network World and Computerworld and stay tuned.

Update 3-31: Ben Grubb of The Age reports:

Late this afternoon, Samsung Australia said the allegations were “not true”.

“Our findings indicate that the person mentioned in the article used a security program called VIPRE [antivirus software] that mistook a folder created by Microsoft Live Application for … key logging software, during a virus scan.”

Read more in The Age. I don’t see any statement on Samsung’s web site at this time, but I expect we’ll see more on this later.

UPDATE2: GFI Security has owned responsibility for the problem with the false-positive that VIPRE gave. See their post, “Samsung Laptops do not have a keylogger (and it was our fault)”.

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