Hard Drive Trojan
If you spend a lot of time on WorldStart’s message board or if you read a lot of online articles, you have probably already heard about this, but just in case some of you haven’t, I wanted to fill you in. This was brought to my attention by one of our message board users, “jholland1964,” and after doing some more research on it, I found several other news pieces on it as well. This whole thing was discovered about a week ago (November 11, 2007) and even though I’m a little behind on getting this story to you, here’s the full scoop!
Over last weekend, approximately 1,800 new external hard drives were found to have been pre-installed with Trojan horse malwares. The two infections found go by the names of “autorun.inf” and “ghost.pif.” These external hard drives were both the 300 GB and 500 GB sizes and they were originally made for a company called Maxtor in Thailand. When the hard drives are in use, all of the information on the disk is forwarded to two different Web sites in China: www.nice8.org and www.we168.org. The hackers can then take the information off the drive and use it however they please.
From what I’ve read, it looks like a company in China has been pin-pointed as the leader of this attack, but there have even been implications that the Chinese government is behind the Trojans. There have been reports of this same type of thing for Maxtor disks sold in the Netherlands as well. Now, I know this is only happening in China and a few other select countries, but that doesn’t mean it could happen to you too. If you’re in the market to buy a new external hard drive, just make sure you’re purchasing it from a reputable source. Also, before you start using it, it’s a good idea to reformat the drive and make sure it’s clear of any “bad stuff.” If you do that, you will be just fine. Let’s just hope this whole malware issue gets cleared up sooner than later. Stay safe out there!