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Gizmodo: Samsung Installing Keyloggers?

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by monkeymonkey, Mar 30, 2011.

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  1. monkeymonkey

    monkeymonkey Notebook Guru

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  2. booboo12

    booboo12 Notebook Prophet

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    Absolutely unforgivable if so. That'll end whatever hopes Samsung had for good US sales here.;)

    Believe me, I'll continue to do my clean installs for now on. On any computer I own and buy.
     
  3. linuxwanabe

    linuxwanabe Notebook Evangelist

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    Samsung responds to installation of keylogger on its laptop computers

    Bad news for Samsung in terms of PR. Will it impact my future buying decisions? No. I pretty much haven written off Samsung as a consumer brand. Samsung is a hopelessly clumsy company when it comes to PR. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the "explanation" is entirely genuine. The real problem is that Samsung is clueless when it comes to the consumer market. A keylogger to figure out how customers use their products? Yup.

    Personally, I think that Samsung should simply ditch all of its consumer products. Period. I'm not suggesting a boycott, just that Samsung products aren't worth buying to begin with. Samsung is a capable supplier of components for consumer brands, not a viable consumer brand, at least in my informed opinion.
     
  4. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    I agree that Samsung still have a lot to learn. Perhaps the oriental origin means that they don't yet understand western customers. However, to say that their products are not worth buying means that you haven't looked very hard at their product range. Samsung are among the market leaders in mobile phones and TVs while some of their notebooks are outstanding. See the new Series 9 / ZX310, for example.

    John
     
  5. booboo12

    booboo12 Notebook Prophet

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    Well looks like it was a false alarm due to the guy's choice of antivirus software:

    UPDATE: Samsung keylogger could be false alarm

    Samsung's sadly going to have to do major damage control. I can't help but worry that their response wont be good enough. Only their Korean language only blog appears to have any news refuting this while it should really be on the homepage for each region they sell laptops in. We also know how people love to pick on Samsung statements who's meanings are often lost in translation (7 inch galaxy tab sales, quote about how the old tab 10.1 was "inadequate"...etcetera)
     
  6. steampot

    steampot Notebook Enthusiast

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    that so called 'security expert' is a loser. if he had done the leg work like analyzing hashes of the hidden file, find drivers, registry entries, etc that ultimately lead to the false positive at least he gets some respect. But no, he uses a commercial virus scanner and doesnt check anything himself and then proceeds into a hissy fit. lol, hilariously lame.

    its also hilarious so many people are acting like simpletons/plebeians. they listen to hearsay and they ignorantly run with it.

    wow, the 'oriental'? i didnt know we still lived in the 60s?
     
  7. linuxwanabe

    linuxwanabe Notebook Evangelist

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    I've looked very hard at their current tablet and smartphone offerings. I might not be an Apple fan, but offerings like the Galaxy Tab have convinced me that Apple product might just be worth the premium.

    As far as the Series 9, I'm not sure why Samsung is trying to market a MacBook Air clone, since the air line hasn't been such a hit and the whole subnotebook market has been a flop?

    I think it's pretty telling that Apple has taken the unprecedented step of doing market research to reinvigorate the MacBook Air line. Rumor has it that we'll be seeing Sandy Bridge MacBook Airs in the next couple of months.
     
  8. ledzepp14

    ledzepp14 Notebook Evangelist

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    i agree about the current galaxy tab.. bulky, heavy, and runs an older android os.. but i'd wait to see how the new galaxy tab 10.1/8.9 are and compare those to the ipad.

    the MBA is currently gaining a lot of sales recently.. in 3 months, apple sold just a bit over 1 million. as ultraportables get more performance out of their portable sizes.. i believe that sales will continue to grow. the MBA was a flop at first due to the gpu being weak (apple initially used intel igp), but once nvidia was included, along with adding SSD (which really took care of the bottleneck) this improved overall performance greatly.
     
  9. linuxwanabe

    linuxwanabe Notebook Evangelist

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    Well, there's still the controversy over whether Lee Young-hee said Galaxy Tab sales were "quite smooth" or "quite small." That sort of PR mistake is part of the reason people were so willing to embrace this current snafu.

    As far as upcoming Android tablets, the Motorola Xoom has gotten 3.0 off to a rocky start - no Flash on display models. I can't help but think that someone will eventually produce a decent Android tablet, although I'm still waiting...and waiting....and.....

    Personally, I think that Samsung was badly damaged as a tablet brand by how they launched the 7" Galaxy. The display model's I tested felt unbelieveably slow and laggy - almost as bad as a crappy $100 resistive touch e-reader. And the initial pricing.....$700 plus a two year contract....no way.

    Yes, I know they're discounted now, but it's pretty much a dead product at this point. As far as Samsung phones, none has the perceived quality of the iPhone. I'm not impressed.

    As far as the MacBook Air, there's currently some sort of clearance at MacMall of on the current MacBook Air 11 inch. We'll be seeing an update soon, and the weak NVIDIA GPU is going bye-bye, probably not just from the Air, but also from the MacMini and white plastic MacBook.

    As far as sales, Apple still isn't apparently happy with MacBook Air line. No, I don't believe the rumored shift to ARM processors, at least not for the models coming in the next couple of months.
     
  10. 5ushiMonster

    5ushiMonster Notebook Deity

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    @John Ratsey
    First off, as a Korean and for the phrase 'oriental origin' to come up does sound rather... discriminatory. Well, at least that's what it sounds like it's implying. But that's my opinion. And you're of course entitled to yours.

    Samsung and Korean tech is on par and on quite a number of fields surpasses Japanese products in term of price and reliability (LCD panels for example; Samsung supplies Sony the displays for their low-mid end offerings). From what you're implying, Japanese tech (eg Sony) being also oriental == primitive. It is just not the case. I have worked at Korean research facilities and trust me. We're high tech and the Japanese are just managing to keep up. And from what I (and many others) see, Samsung LCDs are darn common and sort after in Western countries, as are mobile phones, fridges, washing machines etc etc etc.

    On the subject though.
    This news was quite a surprise. I have had instances of keyloggers in Samsung machines, but not in laptops.

    I bought a 1GB YP-T8 (MP3 player) back in late 2005. It was a high-end device having motion detection and all. The moment I got home from the store I connected her up to my PC and Norton 2005 (which I was using at the time) threw up messages of keyloggers trying to autorun. It was stopped, so not too much of an issue. Though I was wondering WHY a new product (sealed and all) had a keylogger in memory in the first place.

    Skip forward to early 2007 and I bought another Samsung MP3, this time a low-end 1GB YP-U2. Again, brand new and sealed packaging. And again, I connected her up to a PC the moment I got back from the store to charge and move songs.
    ...and AGAIN, another keylogger, this time stopped by AVG. I should have kept a screenshot of the issues.

    Once, ok, maybe a coincedence. Twice? I don't think so. Though since I assumed that the factory making these devices were using bad NAND chips, I didn't think much about it. It's common for Chinese-assembled flash-chips to come loaded with malware even today. Though granted, the T8 and U2 supposedly have Korean-made Samsung chips (and not Chinese built Samsung chips / no-brands) so there was that inconsistancy. But with both devices being MADE IN CHINA, that's what I assumed and dismissed the issue; probably some jerk-ward who wasn't taking his / her quality-control job seriously or a nutter thinking it's funny loading run-off-the-assembly-line devices with malware. Anyways, that UNTIL THIS PIECE OF NEWS REGARDING THE LAPTOPS EMERGED (albeit a false alarm).

    I remember having a scrap piece of paper around from 2005 on which I wrote down the keylogger's generic name and what it was targeting. Will have to search for it (provided it hasn't been thrown out) but I'll update once I find it. I unfortunately did not keep a record of the keylogger from 2007 so can't confirm whether the 2005 and 2007 versions are the same.

    I also have an old Samsung NT-R45 never came across malware with the factory OS installation. I'd like to revert back but have no idea how to boot the recovery partition. Currently running a clean install of XP Home with a seperately purchased driver disc from Samsung Korea.

    EDIT
    Can't find the scrap paper. It used to pop up once every two months or so when I extreme-cleaned my place up. Can't do that now with due dates and whatnot looming. I do recall seeing the thing once last year but can't remember where I put it (if I didn't throw it out that is).

    Don't get me wrong. As a Korean I suffer from a sorta brand-loyalty syndrome. I'm not the type to bash a company as long as it produces reliable, usable, and well-respected-by-the-masses devices. But this recent issue, coupled with my 2x personal experiences in the past, does question my personal brand-loyalty-foundations with Samsung... This despite the nutter who found the so-called malware being discredited. I now have lingering doubts...

    Can't comment on Samsung products these days as the last Samsung I bought was a YP-U2. Been using my phone (a Sony Ericsson) as a MP3 player and camera since 2008 so haven't had the chance to go by a new product. Would I buy a Samsung today if I had the opportunity? Probably, yes. Though I'd scour the net for reviews and research heavily before commiting. Actually, I've had my sights set on the GT-S8500 recently...
     
  11. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Possibly discriminatory but not intended to be offensive. The east Asian culture of the boss being right even when they are wrong (but no one is prepared to tell them) means that the "customer is king" approach of some western companies doesn't work very well. I know from past dealings with Samsung UK support that they get frustrated by the challenge of getting problems fixed by the people in Korea.

    John
     
  12. 5ushiMonster

    5ushiMonster Notebook Deity

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    Can't argue with your 'customer is the king' theory, because that's quite true ^_^

    I am unable to comment on Samsung after-sales abroad but I have had excellent encounters IN Korea. And this is with Samsung products only sold in Western countries (notably the SGH-D600 and the SGH-E640, and the two MP3 players I mentioned earlier).

    For the SGH-D600, the entire top slider stopped working (no LCD, no backlight for the upper-slider keys), but the thing still turned on, noticable by when the keypad lighted up. Wasn't in the best of nick.
    My SGH-E640, a flip phone which was run over by a slow-moving car with the thing flipped open. Miraculously it survived MINUS the main LCD being horrendously cracked (though everything else, including the camera, flash, and external LCD, were intact).

    Anyways, got those two repaired in Korea free of charge. Though granted, not being 'for-Korea' phones it took them a while to source in the parts. But the entire repair process was a week (7 days). And again, I emphasise FREE of CHARGE.

    As for my YP-T8. That had a bad ear-jack connection which was repaired at the service centre in 20 minutes. Cost me US$2. And my YP-U2, cracked monochrome display, replaced in 10 minutes, cost me US$10.

    In all four cases above, the warranties had expired long before they were taken into service.

    Koreans buy Samsung products because Samsung has the best AS (after-sales) service in the country. Period, full stop. And having experienced it myself, it makes the support in Western countries look, rather bluntly, crap. Another reason why Fujitsu's laptop lineup never lasted in Korea; they were notorious for bad customer service and people just simply stopped buying them altogether. Fujitsu pulled out from the Korean market at the end. There are companies in the country that try and emulate Samsung's AS in terms of quality (Sony Korea being one), but despite that Samsung wins, hands-down. The Samsung brand-name is a household subject due to the high-quality AS. And the masses wouldn't trust any other brand as a result.

    ...anyways, back to the original subject...
    I know the keylogger story turned out to be a false alarm, but had it turned out to be true, I wouldn't have been surprised with street demonstrations asking for heads to roll at Samsung. Us Korean's as consumers are extremely demanding, hence the rather fast progression of anything that is reliant on speed, the internet for example...
     
  13. dkwhite

    dkwhite Notebook Deity

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    Yes, this is the real issue, The negligent-fame-seeker who "reported it" did absolutely no research before he ran off and blabbed his so-called findings to networkworld.com over in Canada.


    In fact his first report of the "keylogger" refused to state what antivirus software he was using. Only that it was a "Commercially Licensed antivirus software" that, according to the idiot, has never produced a false-positive in six years of use.


    I have one Samsung product in my house, and it was a T.V that was affected by the capacitor issue because they went cheap on a part that literally costs pennies to manufacture. The worst part is, if you call them to fix the problem, they are supposedly replacing the power boards and the replacements supposedly have the same exact capacitors on them that failed the first time, so the tv will fail again. So the only real way to fix it is to do it yourself and order the right capacitors from some place like radio shack. When they finally acknowledged the issue existed, most models weren't covered under the 1 time free fix.


    In any case, the dude who reported it should offer a public apology for being lazy and negligent, but I doubt he will.

    As to the above poster stating that Koreans buy Samsung products because of their service... Koreans buy Samsung products because Samsung is a Korean company plain and simple.

    And Samsung's Service in the states, isn't so hot.

    I think Samsung sees its only competitors as Sony and Apple. That seems to be their focus in any case, and more Sony than Apple... Because Apple has great service in the states, and Samsung's service is more on par with Sony's (IE: Not very good).
     
  14. Smellycant

    Smellycant Notebook Consultant

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    Thats an oxymoron.

    Actually certain facets of the 'Western culture' heavily live by the 'boss is right' mentality; e.g. the military.

    Actually, the fact you are trying to pass off the very concept of subordination as being something intimately 'asian' itself further reveals biggotry on your part.

    Lets just say, if you are insubordinate to your boss here in North America, or elsewhere in 'western' Europe, you will get fired also - often even if you are unionized.
     
  15. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Insubordinate means disobedient, ie failure to follow orders. My comment relates to whether there is any culture or process to query the orders, sometimes point out that there is a better way of doing things and being able to discuss that suggestion. I'm brought up in a culture which allows me to question orders that I don't agree with.

    John
     
  16. Smellycant

    Smellycant Notebook Consultant

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    So what are you saying? That certain cultures, and you are clearly pointing to asian cultures, are blindly and ignorantly obedient?

    At this point it is worth mentioning ignorance and obedience are not intimately related. You may know better but you may follow orders nonetheless.

    I have to state and stress again, that western military are examples where subordination to one's superiors is a vital core of the system. Insubordination is grounds for court martial even if you think you are smarter than your superior officer. The western corporate world is also another example where subordination to your superior is often important. etc.

    The fact you are trying to paint 'westerners' as having some form of superiority because we are 'free thinkers' or mavricks, while insinutating such traits dont exist in asian cultures, is frankly quite biggoted as I have said before.

    I would hazard to guess you know very little about asian cultures or show them much respect?
     
  17. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    All I will say is that I have spent about 3 years working in one of the east Asian countries. I am not saying that individual people are blindly and ignorantly obedient but there is a culture of subservience which makes it difficult for individuals to air their views (and as a manager, getting staff working me to tell me what they actually think).

    We have gone somewhat off-topic so I'm now closing this thread.

    John
     
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