Seagate Hard Drives Came With Trojan Pre-Installed

from the no-extra-charge,-either dept

There have been plenty of stories this year about problems with Chinese manufacturing outlets, though, not many of them have touched on the technology industry. Now, however, Seagate is admitting that some of its hard drives that were made in China came with a trojan horse password sniffer pre-installed. It mostly targeted Chinese online games, but the one American game it included was the ever-popular World of Warcraft. On the plus side, the trojan also disables any other password stealing keyloggers that it finds. Seagate is now offering free copies of anti-virus software to customers impacted by this. In the meantime, experts suggest that you might want to format any new hard drives you get, just to be safe.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Joe, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 10:54am

    Wouldnt just about everyone format these drives to load an OS ? i can see if you hooked it up as a secondary etc, but the chances of a drive being used and not being formatted seam slim to me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Faz, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 11:15am

    hmm

    good point Joe, unless someone was lazy but still fdisk and format no???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Bob, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 11:17am

    "I would always format my hard drive as soon as it arrives," Paul Ferguson, network architect for antivirus vendor Trend Micro told InternetNews.com. "For many people, most hard drives arrive pre-formated from the plant and they use it as is. My advice would be always reformat the drive before installing anything on it.".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Nov 15th, 2007 @ 11:17am

    USBs?

    most usb harddrives come pre formatted and most people don't format them. is that what they are talking about?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    MATT, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 11:22am

    well, sounds good in theory but

    just a fyi the corrupted files are ones that the computer doesn't typically wipe, it was in the master boot table IIRC

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 11:29am

    FOA

    Format on Arrival

    always.

    it dosn't have to be a matter of whats on the drive when it arrives, but rather, what kind of format it was formated under. id rather have my own machine format it prior to use.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Linux ROCKS, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 11:49am

    Or just use Linux, and you'll have to reformat to ext2 or ext3 or Reiserfs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 15th, 2007 @ 11:51am

    I Guess

    They must not have enough children paid peanuts there working to farm gold to spam in game to sell you for your real life money. Gotta go to further lengths now. Steal your in game gold to sell back to you for your real life monies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    B, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 11:52am

    Or not

    OR we could not turn every article into an OS war.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Max Powers at http://ConsumerFight.com, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 11:54am

    Format

    I was taught to always format a new drive with your own OS and you would find any possible problems at the same time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Whirler, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 12:06pm

    Prepare

    Use the manuf's diag disk that comes with the drives and perform a low level format. It will wipe everything on the disk. This is also considered factory certifying the drives....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 12:14pm

    More quality products from China I see!

    Or just use Linux, and you'll have to reformat to ext2 or ext3 or Reiserfs.

    And no.. Most Linux distros can use FAT file systems if you choose, and can support NTFS as well, if you need/want them to. So you *could* reformat, but wouldn't really have to - particularly if it was bought to be a shared drive on a duel bootable system. I would assume they were formatted FAT32 and not NTFS, but who knows..

    But be careful what you ask for - a lot of people go nuts on their OS of choice. If someday, it does become the most popular out there, then one thing is certain - more malware and viruses will be available for it too!

    If gaming gets more Linux friendly (something I'd really like to see myself, actually) then I'm sure they would include both a Windows and a Linux version of the Trojan for us!

    But it doesn't matter. These companies are all going as dirt cheap as they can on manufacturing, and well.. I guess you get what you pay for!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 12:15pm

    Use the manuf's diag disk that comes with the drives and perform a low level format. It will wipe everything on the disk. This is also considered factory certifying the drives....

    You think though - it's possible next time - for someone to copy a 'different' low level format utility to the disk that comes with the system that re-writes the virus to the disk when used?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    nunya_bidness, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 12:38pm

    More china shit

    more and more crap is coming out of china, the hard drives probably have lead in the label too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 12:47pm

    Re:

    The Linux version of a Trojan would be highly unlikely, and difficult to implement in a way that could function as intended. Permissions and executable status are needed to operate in Linux, must be set by an administrator(root)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    nomochit, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 1:32pm

    no moe chit about it....

    anyone ever wonder if everything that comes out of china might not be accident, lead, drugs, trojan, lets figure this out people......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Hozer, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 2:23pm

    KillDisk

    an OS format regardless of the OS generally don't do a very good job formating, i run KillDisk on every new drive i get and every drive i know has had a virus. this way it clears out the boot sector as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Bobby Romanski, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 2:42pm

    INFO

    Google Scan's user's email to display advertisements http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/24/business/media/24adcol.html?ei=5065&en=5822f6a 12e575488&ex=1191297600&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print iPhone a Trojan Horse For Government Surveillance? http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2007/200707iphonesurveillance.htm FBI records audio from cell phone even when battery is out http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/december2006/071206batteries.htm Prototype software from Google Research could listen to your TV and send back useful information http://www.technologyreview.com/Biztech/19050/ Excellent film on government sponsored terror http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=786048453686176230 DON"T BE DISCOURAGED. Love to everyone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    JS Beckerist (profile), Nov 15th, 2007 @ 2:42pm

    Re: FOA

    You know what's fun? Run the "undelete" or "unformat" utilities and see what turns up.

    I know this probably applies less to "new" harddrives, but I bought a WD raptor ~a year ago off ebay, unformatted and thank-you-jesus I was awarded a clean XP Pro installation with Microsoft Office and the entire Macromedia suite! I couldn't get into the protected folders (ie: my documents) but the rest (ie: windows, program files, etc) were wiiiiide open!

    Needless to say I'm not a fan of XP pro (Win 2000 or BUST!) so I formatted and lost it all again, but it was a fun experiment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    xtraSico, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 3:12pm

    New drives

    I always have to format / prepare my hard drives. They always come that way. Maybe are the brands I buy. Anyway, it's easy because it's only one or two hard drives, not 20.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Bill, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 3:14pm

    Seagate HD Trojan

    I test returned HD for Fry's Electronics in Phoenix. 90% of the drives returned because they do not work (Boot or can't be formated) are not initialized and therefor not visible in Explorer. People do not read the instructions nor do they use the Utilities on the CD. What I do? I connect the HD to an external USB HD housing that has it's case removed. I get into "Manage" and then "Disk Management" (Right Click "My Computer". The drive will show if it spins etc and you can repartition and format - Takes me less than 5 min per HD.
    Enjoy
    Bill

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Linux ROCKS, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 4:34pm

    Re:

    Hmmm I have used Fedora Core 4 through 6, and I have always reformatted to Ext2 or 3 or the Reiserfs. I don't think it will support NTFS, unless you do want to dual boot. And if I wanted to dual boot I would, but use Linux strictly for a home server/game server.
    As for the other naysayer about Linux not being game friendly, there are a lot of games out there that are being ported to Linux. CS and CSS and Quake3 being just three that I have used in the past.
    And no, this isn't about an "OS" war. Everyone has their favorite OS. Mine is actually W2K. Stable and hasn't failed me yet. A shame really since Vista is a dud, and was stopped being force fed to us through new machine vendors who refused to install it and by manufacturer's like Lenovo who are actually offering a backwards' install of WXP if you bought a machine that had Vista installed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Linux ROCKS, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 4:34pm

    Re:

    Hmmm I have used Fedora Core 4 through 6, and I have always reformatted to Ext2 or 3 or the Reiserfs. I don't think it will support NTFS, unless you do want to dual boot. And if I wanted to dual boot I would, but use Linux strictly for a home server/game server.
    As for the other naysayer about Linux not being game friendly, there are a lot of games out there that are being ported to Linux. CS and CSS and Quake3 being just three that I have used in the past.
    And no, this isn't about an "OS" war. Everyone has their favorite OS. Mine is actually W2K. Stable and hasn't failed me yet. A shame really since Vista is a dud, and was stopped being force fed to us through new machine vendors who refused to install it and by manufacturer's like Lenovo who are actually offering a backwards' install of WXP if you bought a machine that had Vista installed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Linux ROCKS, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 4:35pm

    sorry for the dual post, ugh!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Walter Dnes, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 8:26pm

    Chicken and egg problem for Windows users

    Article says... "Seagate is warning customers of its external hard drives that their bare drive may not be so bare after all, it might have a Trojan hidden on it."

    A WIndows user has to plug in the external USB drive to use it. The default "Autorun" will run the trojan and infect the main machine immediately, long before you can format it away. *YOU MUST REPARTITION AND FORMAT IT ATTACHED TO ANOTHER MACHINE THAT IS USING A NON-WINDOWS OS*.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Thomas, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 8:35pm

    Keyloggers

    Well, the author is right saying that this isn't the first issue when keyloggers are installed in new things. So, I think right now the first thing each user should do is to install anti-keylogging protection, even after reformatting the hard drive. If you ask me I recommend Anti-Keylogger(www.anti-keyloggers.com) It doesn't matter where the thing was created - potentially it every PC can have a keylogger(We have already ready about Dell laptops, that had keyloggers), moreover you can easily get a keylogger while surfing the web, or while checking your email in public place. So, my advice to everyone - protect your data!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This