Thursday, March 31, 2011
Samsung reportedly installing keylogger software on laptops (update: it's a false-positive)
We'll start by saying that we've reached out to Samsung for a response here, but as of now, no reply has been given -- neither a confirmation nor a refusal of truth. Why bother mentioning that? If this here story proves true, Sammy could have a serious problem on its hands -- a problem that'll definitely start with a rash of negative PR, and a quandary that could very well end the outfit up in the courtroom. According to a report by Mohamed Hassan over at Network World, Samsung allegedly took the initiative to install a keylogger into his recently purchased R525 and R540 laptops. The app was noticed right away after a security scan on both systems, with StarLogger popping up with the c:\windows\SL directory. Where things really get strange is on the support line; reportedly, a supervisor informed Mr. Hassan (after an earlier denial) that the company did indeed install the software at the factory in order to "monitor the performance of the machine and to find out how it is being used." Unfortunately, it's difficult to say if this is a widespread issue, or if the tale is entirely correct, but we get the feeling that Samsung will have little choice but to respond in some form or fashion here shortly. Naturally, we'll keep you abreast of the situation -- meanwhile, you may want to reconsider that hate-filled comment you're about to bang out on your Samsung laptop, and instead, feast your eyes on the video just past the break.
Update: Kudos to Samsung for hitting this head-on. An hour after we inquired for comment, a company spokesperson tossed over this official quote: "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."
Update 2: Samsung's official Korean language blog, Samsung Tomorrow, has a posted an update calling the findings false. According to Samsung, the confusion arose when the VIPRE security software mistakenly identified Microsoft's Slovene language folder ("SL") as Starlogger, which Sammy was able to recreate from an empty c:\windows\SL folder (see image above). So yeah, move along, it's much ado about nothing -- the R525 and R540 laptops are perfectly safe.
Update 3: Even GFI Software has stepped up and confirmed the good news; furthermore, it'll be changing the way it structures things so as not to set off any more false-positives.Permalink | | Email this | Comments