Oops. I might need to offer Samsung an apology…
It sort of struck me that it’s a bit silly trying to install a known keylogger and expect to get away with it. So I started to ask a few AV companies if their software would detect the ‘Samsung keylogger’. First to reply was Kaspersky:
Yes, it detects it. But there’s no certainty at this stage that it has been pre-installed by Samsung.
Kaspersky referred me to the Samsung statement:
The statements that Samsung installs keylogger on R525 and R540 laptop computers are false.
Our findings indicate that the person mentioned in the article used a security program called VIPRE that mistook a folder created by Microsoft’s Live Application for a key logging software, during a virus scan.
The confusion arose because VIPRE mistook Microsoft’s Live Application multi-language support folder, “SL” folder, as StarLogger.
That actually makes sense. A genuine false positive is a far more likely culprit than an incompetent conspiracy.
Just to demonstrate:
Firstly, the false positive from VIPRE
And now AVG2011 correctly recognising the StarLogger keylogger:
Laugh or cry? If you’re not sure, just ask the EU. I’m sure it will tell you which way you should be thinking.
Education Ministers discussed active citizenship education, and related educational policy objectives… Minister of State Rózsa Hoffmann, pointed out, “We must answer the question, to whether our educational systems prepares the youth appropriately, to become active and responsible citizens.”
Whatever happened to education as a way of preparing youngsters for a fulfilling life? Now apparently education is designed to make good little European Citizens. Midwich Cuckoos?
The Minister of State for Education of the Ministry of National Resources stressed: the purpose of citizenship education is to teach students to think, and responsibly participate in economic, political, social and cultural life.
There was me thinking that the purpose of education was to teach us about Kafka; not to emulate his Castle. Now, all line up neatly and repeat after me: Credo in unum EU, EC omnipoténtem, factorem cæli et terræ, visibílium ómnium et invisibílium.
Still, we shouldn’t really have too much sympathy for our youth; after all, the current world economic crisis is entirely their fault:
The Minister of State did not conceal her opinion that “Perhaps the global economic crisis could have been less severe, if the youths had adopted a more conscious attitude to decision-making.”
We haven’t bequeathed our kids years of debt, because it was them as did it to us! Honestly, I’m not making up any of this. Please stop the world: I want to get off…
There is a short report of Samsung pre-installing spyware on its own laptops before sale:
In other words, Samsung wanted to gather usage data without obtaining consent from laptop owners.
Samsung responds to installation of keylogger on its laptop computers
The report adds:
Samsung’s conduct may be illegal; even if it is eventually ruled legal by the courts, the issue has legal, ethical, and privacy implications for both the businesses and individuals who may purchase and use Samsung laptops. Samsung could also be liable should the vast amount of information collected through StarLogger fall into the wrong hands.
Frankly, I cannot see how this could possibly be anything but illegal in the EU. The report, however, doesn’t say whether this is worldwide or just North American – so clearly we need to know more. Frankly, I hope that the FTC in the States and the EDPS in the EU stamps very hard on Samsung. This is simply unacceptable.
What I can say for certain, however, is that the Samsung R540 I was looking at is now not going to happen. Ever.