[LINK] suspicious Samsung gear

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Thu Mar 31 20:58:24 AEDT 2011

I read this article and the thing that bothers me about this, is that it would be simple for Samsung to put an undetectable hardware keylogger in their system, they make the hardware after all.  Why bother with a pure software keylogger.  There is something not right with this story.

On 2011/Mar/31, at 5:41 PM, Jan Whitaker wrote:

> "Samsung denies shipping laptops with secret spyware
> Ben Grubb
> March 31, 2011 - 5:14PM
> Samsung has denied allegations it installed secret spyware software 
> on its laptops that monitors and records users' activity - including 
> their keystrokes - without their consent.
> The publication to first report the allegations, Network World, said 
> Samsung had been given a week to comment but had not responded at the 
> time of publication.
> 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."
> IT publication Network Wold reported that Mohamed Hassan, founder of 
> NetSec Consulting Corp, a firm that specialises in information 
> security consulting services, detected spyware on a laptop he 
> purchased from Samsung in February.
> Earlier today, Samsung spokesman Jason Redmond told PC World that the 
> company was looking into the allegations. "We take these claims very, 
> very seriously," he was reported as saying.
> Samsung Australia, also earlier today, said it was investigating the 
> issue "as a matter of urgency" but could not comment on a local level 
> because the issue had originated outside of Australia. "As soon as we 
> have an update on the investigation, we will share this with you," 
> the company said.
> Security expert Chester Wisniewski, of security firm Sophos, said in 
> a blog post that what Samsung had allegedly done was "astonishing".
> "After the massive uproar that resulted when Sony installed rootkits 
> on peoples computers when they listened to an audio CD, you would 
> hope the world would realise this type of behaviour is totally 
> unacceptable," he said.
> When setting up the laptop (model R525), Mr Hassan decided to run a 
> security program on it and run a full system scan before installing 
> any of his own software, the report said. In doing so, it said he 
> detected a secret program called "StarLogger" installed.
> Typically known as spyware, the secret software alleged to have been 
> installed on Mr Hassan's computer is described by one website as 
> being able to record "every keystroke made on your computer on every 
> window, even on password protected boxes". It goes on to say that the 
> software is "completely undetectable and starts up whenever your 
> computer starts up".
> After analysing the laptop, Mr Hassan came to the conclusion that the 
> spyware must have been installed by Samsung, and so he removed it and 
> carried on using it normally, the report said. But after some issues 
> with the video display, he returned it and bought another model which 
> had better features (model R540).
> After doing the same security software scan on that laptop, the 
> report said Mr Hassan again found the same secret software installed. 
> This time he thought something was suss, and so raised the issue with Samsung.
> After denying the presence of the software on its laptops, Samsung 
> allegedly changed its story and referred Mr Hassan to Microsoft since 
> "all Samsung did was to manufacture the hardware".
> But after the incident was escalated to a supervisor, Mr Hassan 
> claims that they told him that they put the software on their laptops 
> to "monitor the performance of the machine and to find out how it is 
> being used".
> Network World said it contacted three public relations officers at 
> Samsung for comment and gave them a week to send back their comments. 
> "No one from the company replied," it said.
> Do you know more? bgrubb at smh.com.au"
> http://www.theage.com.au/action/printArticle?id=2262026
> Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
> jwhit at janwhitaker.com
> blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
> business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
> Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
> sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
> ~Madeline L'Engle, writer
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Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
T: +61 2 61402408  M: +61 404072753
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request 

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