Samsung pre-installs keyloggers onto computers

PC maker Samsung is in the centre of a security storm after it  installed keylogging software onto laptops to let it know what its punters were doing.

Insecurity expert Mohamed Hassan, who is the founder of NetSec Consulting was stunned to discover keylogging software on two different models of Samsung portable computers.

He called Samsung and logged the incident with Samsung Support. Initially it denied that the spy software was there.

Later Samsung changed its story by referring the author to Microsoft claiming that “all Samsung did was to manufacture the hardware.”

Hassan got through to someone a little further up the food chain who confirmed that Samsung knowingly put this software on the laptop to, as he put it, “monitor the performance of the machine and to find out how it is being used.”

Apparently the software was preinstalled, according to Network World

It could cause huge problems for Samsung. Not only is spying on your customers probably illegal, it kills any of its lucrative laptop sales to corporations. The existence of keyloggers inside laptops makes a tasty target for any hackers and a huge security hole for corporates.

Samsung could also be liable if the vast amount of information collected through the StarLogger falls into the wrong hands.

Samsung has so far to comment on the story. It must go down in history as one of the most stupid moves a company could make.

It seemed to be banking on the fact most people would not know what a keylogger is. At the moment the only safe thing for any organisation to do is wipe the hard drive of the Samsung installed OS and install your own.

Until it is cleared up, it is unlikely that any one will want to buy a Samsung product. After all an outfit which wants to read all your email is probably not worth trusting.