If this is true, it could be the stupidest thing any laptop manufacturer has ever done: NetworkWorld is reporting the discovery of keyloggers on brand-new Samsung laptops.
In an incident that holds echos of Sony’s famous rootkit embarrassment, a NetSec Consulting researcher says he spotted the StarLogger installed on two new devices, and has reported this to Samsung (now reportedly investigating the claims).
NetSec's founder Mohamed Hassan says StarLogger – a commercial keylogger – was found when he scanned new, freshly-configured Samsung laptops (first a model R25; the installation of the keylogger was then replicated on a model R540).
StarLogger is removable, with plenty of sites offering instructions, but its installation without user permission was described by Hassan as possibly illegal and at least raising troubling ethical and privacy issues. ®
Update Samsung has issued a brief denial, in which it said the researcher has identified an innocuous directory as the keylogger in error. Its statement says that the researcher's security program "mistook a folder created by Microsoft Live Application for a key logging software, during a virus scan.". Looks like a game of claim and counter-claim is on the cards. ®
Final Update As we report here, it was a false positive. The Slovenian language is not a keylogger.