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Asus Ships Eee PCs With Malware

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the well-there's-your-first-mistake dept.

Portables 124

An anonymous reader writes "'According to an email sent out by Asus, PC Advisor reports, the Eee Box's 80GB hard drive has the recycled.exe virus files hidden in the drive's D: partition. When the drive is opened, the virus activates and attempts to infect the C: drive and any removable drives connected to the system.'"

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How did they... (5, Funny)

SupremoMan (912191) | about 6 years ago | (#25335719)

get Vista to run on that thing?

Close, but no cigar (3, Insightful)

SL Baur (19540) | about 6 years ago | (#25335827)

Quoting TFA:

According to Symantec, the malware is likely to be the W32/Usbalex worm, which creates an autorun.inf file to trigger recycled.exe from D:

The real bug is any O/S stupid enough to be designed to automatically execute things on media when loaded. That's a remarkably stupid design.

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

smash (1351) | about 6 years ago | (#25336395)

Vista doesn't do that, it prompts when media is inserted.

Re:Close, but no cigar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25336969)

Vista doesn't do that, it prompts when media is inserted.

A prompt will only decrease the percent of people that fall victim. IMO, if an inserted media has files flagged to autorun, a prompt should only appear if a user has already installed a program to handle that format. In this sense, a DVD can have a 'play DVD' prompt *IF* the user has approved that behavior and *IF* the program executed is already installed. UAC does nothing for the fact that our two dozen PC users at work are stupid. An effective non-admin account would have sufficed. Sadly, an upgrade to our accounting software made us turn half the PC users into admins. This was to upgrade core Microsoft components. This is also why you don't want vendors talking directly to the boss. Stupid vendors.

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

SL Baur (19540) | about 6 years ago | (#25337043)

A prompt will only decrease the percent of people that fall victim.

Exactly, hence my comment "it's a remarkably stupid design."

Re:Close, but no cigar (4, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | about 6 years ago | (#25337361)

A prompt will only decrease the percent of people that fall victim. IMO, if an inserted media has files flagged to autorun, a prompt should only appear if a user has already installed a program to handle that format. In this sense, a DVD can have a 'play DVD' prompt *IF* the user has approved that behavior and *IF* the program executed is already installed.

DVD (or anything that "has already installed a program") does not "run", it contains no executable code, only data and minimal scripts that are interpreted (or ignored) by the player.

The idea to ACTUALLY RUN EXECUTABLE CODE JUST BECAUSE IT APPEARED ON SOME MEDIA is far, far more stupid than any automated playback. When player is automatically started, it might create a security hole because player may be buggy. Running executables is a security hole all in itself. There should be no questions, no dialog boxes, no anything that will even suggest that the user might want to run those things until the user runs the executable or installs it as a handler for something.

Tedium of manualrun to start a game (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#25338329)

There should be no questions, no dialog boxes, no anything that will even suggest that the user might want to run those things until the user runs the executable or installs it as a handler for something.

Say a user inserts a game disc into a set-top PC. Without autorun, how does the user start the game on the disc? And how do I explain this to Joe Sixpack who hooked his PC up to his HDTV through a VGA cable and just wants to play a game that the Big 3 console makers don't want?

Re:Tedium of manualrun to start a game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25338565)

A:\install.bat

Re:Tedium of manualrun to start a game (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#25338651)

A:\install.bat

Most new PCs no longer include a floppy drive (A:), and the drive letter of the optical drive depends on how many partitions the OEM decided to put on the hard disk (ending up at D:, E:, or sometimes even F:).

Re:Tedium of manualrun to start a game (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about 6 years ago | (#25338989)

The same way how he figures out the proper procedure to open extra-armored, welded over the whole perimeter plastic packaging that most of cheap computer peripherals now come in (expensive ones, counterintuitively come in easy-to-open-and-steal cardboard boxes with plastic or foam spacers). I cut those things with scissors that should be straightened and re-sharpened after each such procedure.

It doesn't matter how because it only should be done once.

Re:Tedium of manualrun to start a game (0, Flamebait)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | about 6 years ago | (#25339067)

NOBODY WANTS YOUR SHITTY, PLAIGARISED GAME, ASSHOLE. Give it up you pathetic waste of oxygen. Go wash your mouth out with buckshot.

Re:Tedium of manualrun to start a game (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25339451)

Explain to Joe Sixpack that he should go to My Computer and double click on the game's icon there.

Even on Windows systems where autorun is disabled, the autorun will activate if the user double clicks on the drive's icon. Actually exploring the disc requires using the right-click context menu.

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 6 years ago | (#25338611)

Exactly. Automatically launching a media player when a music CD is inserted, or automatically launching CD-burning software when a blank is inserted, may not always be the behavior the user wants (okay, so it's almost aways not the behavior I want), but it's not particularly dangerous. Similarly, the insert notification, which among other things updates the icon shown for the drive in My Computer, is not by itself inherently dangerous (unless there's something I don't know about the implementation, which is possible).

Automatically launching whatever executable code a magic file like autorun.inf points to, on the other hand, is one of the most frightening security tradeoffs Microsoft has ever made. (Off the top of my head, I can think of just one thing they've knowingly done that's obviously worse.) Using TweakUI to turn the autorun behavior off is on my checklist of things I do to every Windows system I ever touch in an administrative capacity.

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 6 years ago | (#25339133)

Automatically launching whatever executable code a magic file like autorun.inf points to, on the other hand, is one of the most frightening security tradeoffs Microsoft has ever made.
The trouble is when MS did it back in 1995 the world was very different. IIRC they didn't do it for floppies or "removable disks", only for CDs and hard drives. Hard drives were things that generally got left in machines (yes external scsi did exist but it was not commonly used). CD burners were practically unheared of so the only CDs normal people encoutered were ones pressed by "trustworthy" big commercial publishers.

Now in 2008 everything has changed. CD recorders and external hard drives are the norm. Worse some USB sticks are deliberately pretending to contain a CD drive to fool the OS into autorunning stuff from them. Unfortunately users have come to rely on autorun as the normal way to install software so turning it off would piss off a lot of users. In other words MS is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

ChoboMog (917656) | about 6 years ago | (#25338813)

DVD (or anything that "has already installed a program") does not "run", it contains no executable code, only data and minimal scripts that are interpreted (or ignored) by the player.

That was true for CD's...Until certain media companies decided to make rootkits and other copy protection software install, without prompt, via the autorun feature.

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about 6 years ago | (#25338919)

No. "Certain media companies" (Sony) rootkit relies on... autorun. Without this misfeature of Windows those CDs would be absolutely harmless.

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

SL Baur (19540) | about 6 years ago | (#25337039)

Prompt or no, it's still a stupid thing to do. You do not want to run anything new landing on a system by default or even prompt to have it run.

It's a remarkably stupid design.

Please clarify how it is remarkably stupid (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#25338347)

You do not want to run anything new landing on a system by default or even prompt to have it run.

It's a remarkably stupid design.

So should a DVD player or home theater PC not start the DVD or prompt the user to start the DVD? Should a video game console or gaming PC not start the game or prompt the user to start the game? Please clarify.

Re:Please clarify how it is remarkably stupid (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about 6 years ago | (#25338747)

A DVD player is a single purpose device, it reads data from the drive and may execute some sandboxed scripting, unless there are security holes in the player program it's unlikely to be an issue, and since dvd players are typically standalone its unlikely to be a problem.

A games console is also a single purpose device, it's purpose is for providing entertainment...

A fully fledged computer is not a single purpose device, whereas some are used like games consoles solely for entertainment, some people actually try to get important work done on them and deal with confidential data using them. If something is a toy then fair enough, but for a critical tool that could hold the keys to your business and finances there is no way it should do something so stupid as to execute unknown binaries as soon as media is inserted.

The sooner people separate their devices, and stop trying to conduct business or deal with their finances on the same machine they use as a general toy the better.

Re:Please clarify how it is remarkably stupid (0, Troll)

tomhudson (43916) | about 6 years ago | (#25338771)

A fully fledged computer is not a single purpose device,

Sure it is. It's sole purpose is to transfer money from you to Microsoft and its' allies.

Fortunately, there are alternatives.

Re:Please clarify how it is remarkably stupid (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#25339333)

The sooner people separate their devices, and stop trying to conduct business or deal with their finances on the same machine they use as a general toy the better.

No. No. No. Thats exactly what the software/hardware companies want us to do. For example, the TiVo is basically a computer, however, it cannot be modified to run whatever we want it to run unlike a computer. The hardware companies and software companies want us to have one device per purpous, that rather than just having 2 desktops and a laptop they want us to have an iPod for playing music, a TiVo to only record shows, a gaming PC only for playing games, a work PC only to work on, a cell phone only to make calls, a camera only to take pictures, etc.

Re:Close, but no cigar (2, Funny)

Jaktar (975138) | about 6 years ago | (#25339079)

My GRUB prompts me what I'd like to run, is that stupid?

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

GFree678 (1363845) | about 6 years ago | (#25336899)

The real bug is any O/S stupid enough to be designed to automatically execute things on media when loaded. That's a remarkably stupid design.

Yes it is, which is why Vista now asks what the user what they want to do when media containing an AUTORUN.INF is detected, even when it comes to loading executables. Of course, Vista is way too bloated to be put on an EEE but at least Microsoft dealt with such a flaw. Just putting it out there.

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 6 years ago | (#25337035)

The real bug is any O/S stupid enough to be designed to automatically execute things on media when loaded. That's a remarkably stupid design.

In general, yes. But normally one would trust files on your own hard disk.

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

SL Baur (19540) | about 6 years ago | (#25337081)

In general, yes. But normally one would trust files on your own hard disk.

Sigh. You're new here, let me try a car analogy.

This is like driving a car in the US with a large sign on top that lights up "I WANT TO BUY SEX FROM YOU, open the passenger side door and give it to me baby!" every time you drive by a person of your preferred gender on the sidewalk.

Clear now?

Re:Close, but no cigar (2, Funny)

tsa (15680) | about 6 years ago | (#25337305)

Hey, there's an idea!
 
/runs off to the shop to buy a spray can of paint.

Re:Close, but no cigar (0, Troll)

1u3hr (530656) | about 6 years ago | (#25338109)

Sigh. You're new here, let me try a car analogy.

1) I'm not new here.

2) Anyone who uses car analogies to explain computers is either a troll or an idiot.

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 6 years ago | (#25337157)

But I may not trust files on a CD or a USB flash memory. That stupid idea was introduced with windows 95 (I believe), and on windows XP it is very hard to disable (there is no way of just selecting "do not read autorun.inf file", you have to hack the registry to do it (just disabling autoplay in gpedit.msc will work only on media that was inserted after booting windows).

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#25337175)

I believe autorun.inf files should be used only for convenience when installing software from CD's. That's what they were made for.

But an autorun.inf from a read-write medium!? You're 100% right - it's an extremely stupid idea. And it's annoying since my own USB files get infected once in a while. I have to delete the autorun.inf and whatever .exe sneaked in whenever I open it in my Linux box.

Re:Close, but no cigar (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 6 years ago | (#25337817)

Maybe sutorun was convenient before recordable CDs were invented. Even then, sometimes it was a PITA. For example - I start a game, it prompts me to insert the CD. I insert it and the game begins. Also, setup is launched automatically.

What is more stupid is that there is no "easy" way of disabling it, you have to hack the registry or autorun.inf file will be read even though autoplay is disabled (it will be read on startup, if you leave the CD in the drive or the file is in a hard drive or a USB flash memory that was left in it's port or was plugged in before windows started up.

It is possible to use the registry to instruct windows to read a specific registry key instead of a autorun.inf file. the "specific key" should not exist, only the autorun is truly disabled. Also you can disable autorun.inf this way and leave autoplay (that is starting a already installed program to handle the cd or whatever).

That's why you shut off auto-pwn (1)

George_Ou (849225) | about 6 years ago | (#25337369)

That's why you shut off autopwn, I mean autorun with a global group policy throughout your whole active directory. Consumers should turn it off globally with a local group policy. Microsoft should be shot for leaving this feature on by default.

Re:That's why you shut off auto-pwn (1)

SL Baur (19540) | about 6 years ago | (#25337403)

Microsoft should be shot for leaving this feature on by default.

? They are the idiots who incorporated the misfeature ignoring decades of prior experience in the field.

Re:That's why you shut off auto-pwn (2, Informative)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 6 years ago | (#25337841)

Even if you disable autoplay with group policy, the autorun.inf file will be read during startup, if you leave a CD in the drive or the autorun.inf file is on a hard drive...

You have to hack the registry...

Re:That's why you shut off auto-pwn (3, Funny)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 6 years ago | (#25339467)

hack the registry? that sounds hard i think im just going to install gentoo instead.

Re:That's why you shut off auto-pwn (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 6 years ago | (#25339535)

"hack the registry" :)

basically you have to run this command

%systemroot%\system32\reg.exe add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\autorun.inf" /ve /d "@SYS:DoesNotExist" /f

It tells windows to read a registry key called "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\DoesNotExist" instead of autorun.inf file (when such a file exists). Since the key does not exist, windows thinks that the autorun.inf file is empty...

more info here: http://nick.brown.free.fr/blog/2007/10/memory-stick-worms [brown.free.fr]

Re:That's why you shut off auto-pwn (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | about 6 years ago | (#25339435)

autopwn, yay genius

Re:How did they... (1)

steeljaw (65872) | about 6 years ago | (#25335891)

Shipped it with an 80G hard drive. After you remove all the pre-installed bloat you could have about 10G for whatever you see fit!

Re:How did they... (0, Troll)

Nabeel_co (1045054) | about 6 years ago | (#25336867)

I think a better question is why would you buy an Eee PC with Windows on it? I say thats just karma teaching you a lesson! ;)

Quite an accomplishment ... (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | about 6 years ago | (#25335723)

I guess it means they found a way to cram Vista onto it ...

Re:Quite an accomplishment ... (1)

Jimmyisikura (1274808) | about 6 years ago | (#25336185)

Never said how long it would take to open said D: drive.

Asus... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25335733)

FFFail.

Appropriate for the D drive (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25335761)

D:

Windows is NOT a virus (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25335797)

No, Windows is not a virus. Here's what viruses do:

        * They replicate quickly - okay, Windows does that.

        * Viruses use up valuable system resources, slowing down the system as they do so - okay, Windows does that.

        * Viruses will, from time to time, trash your hard disk - okay, Windows does that too.

        * Viruses are usually carried, unknown to the user, along with valuable programs and systems. Sigh... Windows does that, too.

        * Viruses will occasionally make the user suspect their system is too slow (see 2) and the user will buy new hardware. Yup, that's with Windows, too.

Until now it seems Windows is a virus but there are fundamental differences:Viruses are well supported by their authors, are running on most systems, their program code is fast, compact and efficient and they tend to become more sophisticated as they mature.

So Windows is not a virus.

It's a bug.

Re:Windows is NOT a virus (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | about 6 years ago | (#25336183)

Windows replicates quickly? You must never have had to nuke'n'pave a laptop...

Re:Windows is NOT a virus (3, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 6 years ago | (#25337331)

You've obviously not looked at much virus, worm, or malware software. It's mostly crap, assembled by people who think that inventing their own version of a sorting function or a password checker makes them 3l33t. Some of it is insightful, but mostly it's assembled like kids building go-carts from a junkyard of parts.

Re:Windows is NOT a virus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25337631)

You've obviously not looked at much humor, jokes, or amusing anecdotes. Most people don't demand a high level of technical accuracy from a stand-up comedian, and for good reason.

If you didn't think the GP was funny, that's fine. Just don't kill it for the rest of us.

Re:Windows is NOT a virus (1)

(Score.5, Interestin (865513) | about 6 years ago | (#25338031)

You've obviously not looked at much virus, worm, or malware software. It's mostly crap, assembled by people who think that inventing their own version of a sorting function or a password checker makes them 3l33t. Some of it is insightful, but mostly it's assembled like kids building go-carts from a junkyard of parts.

Ten years ago this was certainly true. A lot of the commercial malware coming out of Russia today is as well written or better written (and certainly better-tested!) than standard commercial software. In capitalist Russia........ Profit!

Re:Windows is NOT a virus (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 6 years ago | (#25338159)

That is picking the cream of the crop, however. There, you have professionals running it, and some of them have gang bosses who would take failure very seriously. Like seeing the spam that gets past a modern filter, you're perhaps seeing the best of the huge sea of bad malware and worms out there.

Re:Windows is NOT a virus (1)

dasunt (249686) | about 6 years ago | (#25338841)

No, Windows is not a virus. Here's what viruses do:

  • They replicate quickly - okay, Windows does that.
  • Viruses use up valuable system resources, slowing down the system as they do so - okay, Windows does that.
  • Viruses will, from time to time, trash your hard disk - okay, Windows does that too.
  • Viruses are usually carried, unknown to the user, along with valuable programs and systems. Sigh... Windows does that, too.
  • Viruses will occasionally make the user suspect their system is too slow (see 2) and the user will buy new hardware. Yup, that's with Windows, too.

Until now it seems Windows is a virus but there are fundamental differences:Viruses are well supported by their authors, are running on most systems, their program code is fast, compact and efficient and they tend to become more sophisticated as they mature.

I'm not going to put up with your lies about Windows.

Windows does not install quickly. It involves a cycle of reboots, updates, and hunting down drivers and applications.

This it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25335805)

WORM_BRONTOK.Q? [trendmicro.com]

Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (4, Funny)

markdavis (642305) | about 6 years ago | (#25335819)

...then maybe this wouldn't have happened?

Take a great concept- the netbook... a small, light, inexpensive, flash-based, long-battery life, Linux based system. Then ruin it by making it a large, heavier, expensive, hard-drive based, medium battery life, MS-Windows based system.

Oh well. I guess some people didn't "get it".

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25336329)

Oh well. I guess some people didn't "get it".

Orly?

I'll tell you what I didn't get: an operating system that can speak WPA2 without shitting all over itself.

So I loaded Windows.

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (4, Interesting)

cbreaker (561297) | about 6 years ago | (#25336377)

Strange. I am using Ubuntu right now using WPA2 and it seems to be working. Or, I could just be imagining this.

Which is entirely possible, because I can't understand why someone would be afraid to post a slashdot post without clicking the Anonymous button.

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (2, Informative)

ryanov (193048) | about 6 years ago | (#25336485)

The Eee ships without a wireless stack that can do WPA, or at least did. I worked on one for someone, and that was their issue. This may have changed by now, but it sure was a stupid move at the time.

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (4, Informative)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 6 years ago | (#25336663)

That may have been true of the Eee 700 series, but I have an Eee 900 and it had no trouble connecting to my WPA-PSK access point with the default software. It would've been easier with NetworkManager [gnome.org] instead of their custom configuration interface, but it worked nonetheless.

What I really don't understand is why, for a project which started out Linux-only, it contains so much hardware with mediocre-to-poor Linux support: the wireless card and the Ethernet adapter both require out-of-kernel drivers; the ACPI interface can't seem to get the battery capacity right; the sound support is flaky at best due to incomplete specs; and yet another driver was required for basic ACPI support (now part of the kernel). I managed to get it all working under a stock distro (Debian) eventually, and I'm quite happy with it -- I like a challenge now and then -- but if you're going to build a Linux laptop, why not pick hardware known to be compatible?

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25337813)

What I really don't understand is why, for a project which started out Linux-only, it contains so much hardware with mediocre-to-poor Linux support

Because the use of Linux was accidental, not the objective. The target was to make it inexpensive.

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (1)

FreeFull (1043860) | about 6 years ago | (#25338063)

That's the reason I keep onto my Thinkpad R50e. The only piece of hardware that actually requires proprietary drivers is the modem, which I don't use anyway (all the other hardware uses Intel chips, which have open-source drivers).

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 6 years ago | (#25339233)

if you're going to build a Linux laptop, why not pick hardware known to be compatible?
Because for ASUS putting together a set of linux drivers that will make the hardware work is a minor cost. When you are buying in the quantities ASUS is hardware manufacturers *WILL* cooperate.

Afaict thier primary aim was to make a PC that was both small and cheap. I dunno why they shipped with linux first (they provided instructions and drivers for setting up windows from the start) but my suspiscion is they did it primerally to get better terms out of microsoft (which they have succeeded in doing)

No WPA has ALWAYS worked on the eee (1)

baileydau (1037622) | about 6 years ago | (#25336951)

The Eee ships without a wireless stack that can do WPA, or at least did. I worked on one for someone, and that was their issue. This may have changed by now, but it sure was a stupid move at the time.

I have a 701 and it connects to my WPA secured access point just fine, and always has (using the default Xandros installation). The setup was an extremely trivial point and click exercise. The hardest bit was correctly entering the passphrase, as it puts it into a password type field (hashed out as you type). That's not a bad security feature, but it doesn't help usability. I ended up copying and pasting it.

If it ever couldn't do that it was *very* early in the piece. I bought one of the first ones in Australia. I believe it had been available in other places a little while before getting here.

I don't know what the problem was for the person you helped, but it wasn't that the OS was incapable of running WPA on that hardware.

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25336971)

The Eee ships without a wireless stack that can do WPA

Bullshit. I have a first-gen 4G, and it connected to my WPA-protected wireless net with no problem.

I worked on one for someone, and that was their issue.

Maybe you're just incompetent. You're definitely wrong.

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (3, Informative)

quantumphaze (1245466) | about 6 years ago | (#25337297)

The 701 EEE could use WPA-PSK, the wireless encryption common to most consumer grade routers.

What it can't do is WPA-EAP that is commonly found in corporate environments and universities. This is probably what the parent was trying to say. You can see it's SSID, but when trying to connect it only gives a box for you to type the password but nowhere for the username.

The workaround for it was to install the wpa_supplicant package from Debian and hope that it worked.

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (1)

OolimPhon (1120895) | about 6 years ago | (#25338253)

Not true. The implementation of the stack is poor, but does work. I fell over this one, and a little googling showed that the reason for the problem was spaces and non-alphanumeric characters in the WPA[2] password[s]. Take those out and you're good to go.

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (1)

markdavis (642305) | about 6 years ago | (#25336531)

I agree with ryanov, the poster might have been commenting about problems with WPA2 on the EEE pre-installed version of Linux, rather than Linux, in general. Or, he might just be a troll.

But cbreaker is also right- loading Mandriva (or certain other distros) on the EEE will certainly solve the WPA2 problem with the stock, limited Linux.

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | about 6 years ago | (#25336533)

Every time I've tried Ubuntu, it couldn't speak WPA1 (but WPA2 was fine) without shitting all over itself, nor could it work with APs that weren't broadcasting their SSID...

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | about 6 years ago | (#25337653)

I tried out the latest Ubuntu beta as recently as today with WPA2 and a hidden SSID. Worked with an Intel 3945abg in a laptop. My problem with random hardware is always sound in Linux, not networking :/

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | about 6 years ago | (#25338723)

Last time I tried it with wireless was with 7.10, though, with an Atheros card, not sure the exact model.

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (0)

westlake (615356) | about 6 years ago | (#25336953)

Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux

Asus ships Windows because they are in this business to make money.

We have been around this track before.

Confirmed orders for the Linux only XO laptop stalled at around 700,000 units. Summary of laptop orders [wikipedia.org]

When MSI ran into serious trouble with Linux returns, the geek was there with 660 excuses. Netbook Return Rates Much Higher For Linux Than Windows [slashdot.org]

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about 6 years ago | (#25337531)

Confirmed orders for the Linux only XO laptop stalled at around 700,000 units.

XO is neither designed as a consumer laptop, nor is available for purchase by individual users.

Re:Too bad they didn't stick with only Linux (2, Interesting)

Nutria (679911) | about 6 years ago | (#25337699)

When MSI ran into serious trouble with Linux returns,

The problem is, MSI doesn't say 4x what.

Thus, it's a meaningless statistic, and every time you read an article that mentions "Linux returns 4x greater than Windows" you wasted time learning nothing.

Just sloppy. (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 years ago | (#25335867)

This particular viral infestation doesn't look all that harmful; but it is really, really hard to feel good about the overall integrity of the system when things like this are happening. In fact, the fact that the virus is so pitiful makes it even worse; because it suggests that high-density fuckupitude, rather than sophisticated malice, is all it takes to get a serious defect onto loads of production systems.

Just another reason to always build and verify your own system images, I guess.

Re:Just sloppy. (1)

cbreaker (561297) | about 6 years ago | (#25336403)

I guess so. But out of the millions and millions of PC's that have shipped with Windows, only a very, very small few (thousands) have shipped with something like this. And of those, only a few hundred of these went out, and it's not like the virus was running - it was in the deleted items area.

Sloppy, yea, and a big oops. But really, I don't think it's that big a deal.

Re:Just sloppy. (1)

Sabriel (134364) | about 6 years ago | (#25336777)

But this isn't the first or even the second time Asus has slipped up recently. I've personally encountered their recovery dvds (on recent F8 models); add this and their preinstall/recovery people really need the cluestick applied.

Re:Just sloppy. (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 6 years ago | (#25337857)

... And of those, only a few hundred of these went out, and it's not like the virus was running - it was in the deleted items ...

Except that all autorun.inf viruses that I saw (on a USB flash memory) used \RECYCLED to store their executable, and the .inf file would look like
open=\RECYCLED\desktop.exe

What's the problem again? (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | about 6 years ago | (#25335881)

I was only interested in a couple things with the eee:

- It runs Linux well.
- It's really small.
- It's pretty cheap.

That's about it. Any business of this thing running Windows in the first place is a mystery to me. We bought a number of these for students here and they love them to death (yes, even with Linux).

Re:What's the problem again? (1)

cbreaker (561297) | about 6 years ago | (#25336415)

A lot of folks love running Linux on these small devices. It's small, boots fast, does what you want it to do. I know I like Linux on these kinds of toys.

But, this one is billed out to be a mini-PC, and a lot of people wanted Windows on it, so Asus made a model that is big enough to run Windows.

Ho hum.

Re:What's the problem again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25336847)

I was going to suggest Microsoft had something to do with it, but them currently trying to kill XP in way of Vista. Vista on one of those things...

Re:What's the problem again? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 6 years ago | (#25336729)

Which is suprising seeing as these netbook manufactures seem to be putting little to no effort into it. Wifi cards driven by Ndiswrapper? I would have expected a "5s" boot from a netbook manufacture before some hackers.

Re:What's the problem again? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 6 years ago | (#25339431)

Afaict there are two types of user for theese new "netbooks" and the closely related EEEBox

One is people who want a simple system for web email and maybe some light word processing. Theese people are happy with the cheaper linux models.

Then there are people who want an ultraportable laptop (or in the EEEBox's case a miniture desktop) but couldn't previously afford one. Yeah the specs on an EEE aren't great but it's perfectly capable of running older games like starcraft (blizzard generously modified this to be able to run without CD recently), zoo tycoon (with a CD crack), the windows ports of duke nukem 3D, . It is also perfectly capable of running older versions of MS office (My experiance was with 2000 but 2003 would probablly also be find and even 2007 would probablly run though maybe not at acceptable speed). The screen resoloution was an issue with the 700 series but the 900 mostly fixes that (occasionally one has to go into scaled down or side scroll mode but only for a handfull of applications).

Those in the latter group will want the OS they are familiar with. For most people that means windows XP :/

Also given that few ordinary consumer PCs are still sold with XP and even fewer will be after MS stops letting OEMs ship systems pre-downgraded I suspect theese "netbooks" and the EEEBox are picking up a load of people who's primary criteria for thier new machine is "NOT VISTA".

Thank FSM (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | about 6 years ago | (#25335895)

Oh thank god I have the 20GB version. Also Linux.

when in doubt... (0)

nobodymk2 (1137293) | about 6 years ago | (#25335979)

reformat

problem being the reinstaller disk (if you pay the extra 15$ to include one the Norton-Ghost-or-like-Software they use to recover your files using drive D:\[despite hard drive sources recommend reformatting at least once a year, and I don't mean the corporations making harddrives using 1000-byte kilobytes (SI notation) when it should be 1024-byte kilobytes (SI notation but not SI meaning in the base 10 sense) or shall I say kibibytes (binary unit convention)] would probably restore D:\ (although my Dell didn't do it). I really hate it how they have the nerve to include bloatware on the system, also provide me with no reinstaller disk (I certainly PAID for the OS and there's no No-OS option [but I have to use Windows as the Dell-modified-drivers only work on Windows, and ATI won't provide laptops with one because notebook manufacturer's modify them]), and also provided me, instead of a reinstaller disk, with a Norton Ghost that I have 30 days to use and then I have to uninstall it or pay for it (luckily I don't have to reformat, it CAN merge with C:\). When are people going to realize the only data backup you can rely on is a *separate drive*? My system has never been penetrated and I can disconnect from the internet and run in safe mode and system recovery, but it doesn't matter if my hard drive simply stops running and refuses to reformat or boot or run externally and causes you to lose 6-months of data because it's a MECHANICAL DEVICE (most of the physical problems in electronics result in mechanical failure, such as the reason electronic acclerators (in your car) aren't appreciated - mechanical to electric and then electric to mechanical has some nasty data entropy and retention issues--worse yet, what would happen when we digitize braking systems? How many times has physical failure caused a digital error [think Xbox scratch disk issues even with the slightest tilt or angle due to the cheap manufacturing process not to mention the cheap lasers]) and as long as it's not evidence in a murder trial, won't be sent to the NSA ("we" can see formatted-over data and it doesn't require the hard drive to be running).

also clears out any bloatware on the system, and the warranties don't usually cover software issues (even if it is their fault because they provide the drivers, and the driver is at fault, which is why I never bothered to contact dell about frequent freezes usually accompanied by the last audio file to be played to be repeated but no bluescreen or restart, and at least some of the crashes are overheats [touching the relative location of the graphic card is clearly too hot and accompanied by scent even with fan and thermal sensors posed to cut power], which indicates a non-functioning thermal cut-off switch.)

Re:when in doubt... (2)

tsa (15680) | about 6 years ago | (#25337367)

Why is it that many people suddenly don't seem to learn punctuation and capitalization in school anymore? Your post might be very interesting or insightful but sorry, my eyes hurt just looking at it.

Re:when in doubt... (1)

sowth (748135) | about 6 years ago | (#25339689)

I think they learned punctuation and capitalization, but don't use it because it is a pain in the ass to use them in sms texts, and those habits have carried over to the internet.

Look on the bright side. You can save space by reducing ascii to five bits. we won apostrophe t have all the numbers or any puctuation comma but you can just spell those out stop it will be exactly like the old telegram messages in movies stop cool exclamation smiley stop

Re:when in doubt... (1)

robo_mojo (997193) | about 6 years ago | (#25337395)

You have eleven open-parens but only ten close-parens! Arrrrrrrrg!

Re:when in doubt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25337411)

Friends don't let friends post drunk.

Wow. Just... wow. (2, Funny)

hackshack (218460) | about 6 years ago | (#25337645)

I don't know if it's because I'm running on no sleep, or that images of patch panels are swimming in front of my eyes due to a late-night rack-a-thon, but that was one fine rant.

Inaccurate Title (5, Informative)

TrekkieTechie (1265532) | about 6 years ago | (#25335999)

"Eee PC" =/= "Eee Box"

The Eee PC is Asus' line of netbooks. The Eee Box is Asus' line of nettops. While in some ways they are similar, in other important ways they are very different products.

Re:Inaccurate Title (1)

Warll (1211492) | about 6 years ago | (#25336189)

Speaking of which, why is this in mobile?

Re:Inaccurate Title (1)

TrekkieTechie (1265532) | about 6 years ago | (#25337007)

I'm guessing the same reason it's tagged 'portable' - someone is very confused.

Re:Inaccurate Title (1)

sowth (748135) | about 6 years ago | (#25339515)

With the malware, maybe they should be called "Aieee"?

Re:Inaccurate Title (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 6 years ago | (#25339585)

The EEEBox looks pretty similar to the EEEPC 1000H to me. The differences seem to be

* more flexible memory card reader
* more ports
* no battery
* no screen

Storage, processor, chipset and ram all seem to be the same.

Linux Version (4, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 6 years ago | (#25336067)

I bet it doesn't come on the Linux version.

When will we get equal treatment from hardware vendors?

Re:Linux Version (0, Troll)

zukinux (1094199) | about 6 years ago | (#25336147)

I bet it doesn't come on the Linux version.

When will we get equal treatment from hardware vendors?

Don't be so sure that there's no viruses for Linux version in this EEE case.
Simply because it wouldn't be so hard to just load a virus, written specifically to the Linux version that EEE is using. Shouldn't be hard and will achieve the same thing.

Re:Linux Version (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 6 years ago | (#25336277)

Simply because it wouldn't be so hard to just load a virus, written specifically to the Linux version that EEE is using. Shouldn't be hard and will achieve the same thing.

Isn't that always the way, though? Here the community has provided perfectly functional [wikipedia.org] Linux malware and the manufacturer has ignored all that work. Talk about a missed opportunity.

Re:Linux Version (3, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | about 6 years ago | (#25337917)

Shouldn't be hard and will achieve the same thing.

What's that, watching people download porn or blag stuff to Facebook?

You should never use one of these for anything serious anyway, you can get root on one of them by scratching its belly and rubbing its ears.

Re:Linux Version (2, Interesting)

tragedy in chaos (1382095) | about 6 years ago | (#25336339)

They probably over looked it figuring, what with it being Windows and all, that it wasn't going to work properly anyways.

Re:Linux Version (1)

trytoguess (875793) | about 6 years ago | (#25336751)

It's open source, write it your damn self? : )

Re:Linux Version (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 6 years ago | (#25339151)

It's open source, write it your damn self? : )

>> Dear Slashdot Reader
>> This is an open-source virus.
>> Please forward it to all your friends
>> Then, as root, run "dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda"

There - fixed it for you.

Re:Linux Version (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | about 6 years ago | (#25336891)

Windows on netbooks/nettops really makes no sense. I bought my wife an EEE PC a while back. She doesn't like computers in general, and I can't say that she's seen the difference really. She cares about browsing the net and reading her email. That works like a charm with the included Xandros Linux.

When I get mine (they are soo cute, gotta have one ;) it's going to be sporting Ubuntu EEE which seems to be maturing nicely.

Re:Linux Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25337471)

This is typical - treating Linux users like second-class citizens. We want our malware NOW damn it! Why should we miss out on the fun?

Asus 3e. Now with Windows! (1)

smchris (464899) | about 6 years ago | (#25336541)

And a bright, shiny prize in every box.
Good to the last byte!

But mind the spoilage date.

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