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Malware Found On Brand-New Windows Netbook

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the be-careful-out-there dept.

Security 250

An anonymous reader alerts us to an interesting development that Kaspersky Labs stumbled across. They purchased a new M&A Companion Touch netbook in order to test a new anti-virus product targeted at the netbook segment, and discovered three pieces of malware on the factory-sealed netbook. A little sleuthing turned up the likely infection scenario — at the factory, someone was updating Intel drivers using a USB flash drive that was infected with a variant of the AutoRun worm. "Installed along with the worm was a rootkit and a password stealer that harvests log-in credentials for online games such as World of Warcraft. ... To ensure that a new PC is malware-free, [Kaspersky] recommended that before users connect the machine to the Internet, they install security software, update it by retrieving the latest definition file on another computer, and transferring that update to the new system, then running a full antivirus scan."

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250 comments

Ha ha. (5, Insightful)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069635)

Doesn't seem like an accident.

Re:Ha ha. (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069817)

And why is it that all machines comes pre-installed?

If they weren't then this problem with malware on preinstalled machines would have been less spread.

Re:Ha ha. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28070389)

Freaking genius, here.
A lot of standard users just want to walk into a store, buy a pc, bring it home, plug it in and go. Ease of use is what they want. Unlike *YOU*, they don't want to deal with installing the whole operating system.

Get over yourself.

Re:Ha ha. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069939)

I'd hate to find windows on a brand-new malware netbook.

Re:Ha ha. (4, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070173)

Nor is it really news. The wife bought a Compaq some years ago. I cleaned it of malware, then in a few days, she complained of more. Did a "restore" from the restore partition. Malware restored itself along with the Windows OS. Imagine that....... OEM's are PAID to install crapware, and they are only to happy to accept the money.

Pffft (3, Insightful)

BobReturns (1424847) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069641)

Yes, because any average Joe user is capable of utilising that 'solution'.

Re:Pffft (1)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069731)

What if someone buys the Netbook and it is their only computer? It seems kinda weird that a reputable (cough) company would allow employ to walk around with usb drive for updating hardware.
Isn't windows on it's own partition and not fully installed till the computer is turned on for the first time by the consumer?

Re:Pffft (5, Informative)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070099)

First, the autorun worm was absurdly difficult to remove. The larger the organization the more likely it is to stick around.

Second, have you ever built a corporate or OEM OS image before? Using a usb drive to install drivers is not only likely, it's practical.

The way modern mass-images work is as follows: you have your technician machine, upon which you build the custom tools to incorporate into the image - this would be scripting software packages, customizing settings, etc. Then you have your build machine - this is a clean machine with a fresh OS install on it. You then customize that machine exactly the way you want it, installing custom packages, add all the drivers for all the machines in your product lineup (be sure to include a script to remove the unneeded drivers post-sysprep!), and reseal it to OEM spec with sysprep (which calls any necessary post-build scripts).

Now, you test, test, test, and test to be sure it is good, and mass deploy it to all your hard drives that will be going into all your machines. Much of this does not have to be changed when new models are added, and with MS's newer tools a lot can simply be slipped in to the image itself without having to re-seal it. Very convenient. That also may be how this thing got in as well, who knows.

The breakdown here was on the final step: apparently nobody scanned the test machine for viruses/malware before deploying the image. I'm surprised only a few netbooks were hit, unless the others just haven't noticed yet, heh.

Re:Pffft (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070435)

Yes, because any average Joe user is capable of utilising that 'solution'.

The first thing I did with my laptop was to reinstall Vista with the DVD that came with it. Is there a way to get malware from there or the driver disk?

Right..... (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069645)

To ensure that a new PC is malware-free, [Kaspersky] recommended that before users connect the machine to the Internet, they install security software, update it by retrieving the latest definition file on another computer, and transferring that update to the new system, then running a full antivirus scan

And people say Linux is user unfriendly? I never use Windows to visit banking/credit card/money websites, and I advise all my friends to do the same.

Re:Right..... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069665)

linux is for fags, you stupid bitch. i shit on you and i shit on linux.

Re:Right..... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069775)

Says the douche who couldn't figure out how to run a livecd.

Re:Right..... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069993)

I think you're mistaking Linux for a toilet, sir.

Re:Right..... (-1)

viyh (620825) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069703)

The only reason it's always that way is due to the fact it would be almost useless for an attacker to target linux because of the ratio of linux to Windows machines out there. If/When more people start using it, there will be plenty of attacks for it, especially at first, because it hasn't had all the focus of the virii/trojar/rootkit/evil motherfuckers yet. (Disclaimer: I haven't had a Windows machine around me for years and I strongly support the use of a real OS.)

Re:Right..... (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069755)

The only reason it's always that way is due to the fact it would be almost useless for an attacker to target linux ......

It's not the only reason. The obvious counter-example is IIS vs Apache, where IIS has gotten owned more than Apache, despite Apache's vastly greater marketshare.

Personally I'm looking forward to a world that is 30% OSX, 30% Linux, and 30% Windows. Not only will there be more software available for the OS of my choice, but also it will be harder for malware to spread. Look, in this case if the manufacturers hadn't been using Windows to download the drivers in the factory, the virus wouldn't have spread to the new computer. Monoculture is bad for many reasons.

Re:Right..... (2, Insightful)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069819)

It's not the only reason. The obvious counter-example is IIS vs Apache, where IIS has gotten owned more than Apache, despite Apache's vastly greater marketshare.

Start with IIS 6 and that isn't really true anymore. It is widely accepted by those without a bias that IIS 6 is as good as equivalent Apache releases (when properly configured, of course).

Do you really think having to write software on 3 different systems will result in less malware? Do you think companies will double the development staff to accommodate the differences in systems? I think a 33/33/33 split would make software companies have to support more variances, but probably not do any as well as they do now. And yes, if you get that split, and the split is equally distributed among the different levels of technical ability, you would start to see malware for Linux and OSX; do you really think a Windows user that has just "clicks thru" wouldn't do the same on Linux (or type sudo first or whatever the equivalent is on OSX)?

Re:Right..... (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069941)

Start with IIS 6 and that isn't really true anymore. It is widely accepted by those without a bias that IIS 6 is as good as equivalent Apache releases (when properly configured, of course).

That's irrelevant to the point I was making though, which is that popularity is not the only thing that matters where security is concerned.

Do you really think having to write software on 3 different systems will result in less malware? Do you think companies will double the development staff to accommodate the differences in systems? I think a 33/33/33 split would make software companies have to support more variances, but probably not do any as well as they do now.

This is an interesting point, but in the old days, software companies supported Commodore, Apple, IBM, Atari, etc. The reality of the situation is that for most big software companies, the number of programmers they have is only vaguely related to the income they generate from their software. A single programmer can write code that generates millions of dollars if you can get people to pay for it. So most companies are going to do a cost/benefit analysis: is it worth it to port my software to X system? If there are millions of users on that system, the answer is probably yes. Most major software already runs on both Macintosh and Windows, and OSX only has about 10% of the marketshare. I see no reason they wouldn't write for all three systems in many cases (although I admit I would be happy to leave Windows out, since it's relatively a pain to write for).

do you really think a Windows user that has just "clicks thru" wouldn't do the same on Linux (or type sudo first or whatever the equivalent is on OSX)?

This is a good question, and you are probably right, but the security model in OSX is a lot more clear, so it would be easier to teach users, "If you have to type in your password, something bad might happen!" On OSX application installation is just a matter of drag and drop, normally there is no need to type in your password, so if you do have to, then you really need to think about what you're doing.

Re:Right..... (4, Insightful)

sphealey (2855) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069953)

> Do you really think having to write software on 3 different
> systems will result in less malware?

Do you really thing that monocrop agriculture could destroy an entire civilization? Oh wait...

And when NASA attempted to build the ultimate fail-safe computer system for the Shuttle do you really think they wasted their money having 1 of the 5 CPUs built, designed, and programmed by an entirely separate organization than the primary contractor and prohibiting the two design groups from communicating with one another? Oh wait...

sPh

Re:Right..... (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070041)

Do you really thing that monocrop agriculture could destroy an entire civilization? Oh wait...

Are we talking about sprinkling fertilizer and water on computers? Oh wait...

And when NASA attempted to build the ultimate fail-safe computer system for the Shuttle do you really think they wasted their money having 1 of the 5 CPUs built, designed, and programmed by an entirely separate organization than the primary contractor and prohibiting the two design groups from communicating with one another? Oh wait...

Are we talking about a company with the ability to spend billions of dollars and years on a single software release? Probably not...

Re:Right..... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070051)

The problem is that windows, OSX and *nix all converge as you look closer to the UI. Workstations tend to run the same applications and support the same protocols. Most of them run javascript and flash for example. Maybe in the future a lot of those workstations will be primarily thin clients used to access online services. Then the services get hacked...

Re:Right..... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069867)

I think attacks on Linux would increase and you're bound to get clowns who run their system as root all the time if given the chance.

However a huge chunk of the world run their servers with linux and open source alternatives. These sites include sites that hold credit card information so they would be obvious targets and their source code is available to all to find holes yet MS' offerings, like IIS, seem to have a higher ratio of problems.

So in the end I don't think Linux would actually reach Window's level of insecurity.

Re:Right..... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069925)

Linux is very widely used in the server market, and yet still seems comparably few attacks there... Although there is plenty of malware, it is almost always targeted at servers and is manually installed onto the machine and typically only targets one or two distributions or kernel versions. There is very little malware that is going to affect an average user who's browsing websites or inserting arbitrary media.

Re:Right..... (5, Funny)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070207)

Uuuhhhhh....I really hate to burst your reality bubble there, bud, but there is a reason why all the Linux servers aren't getting pwned and the Windows desktops are. It is because they have these things called server admins and they are usually pretty damned smart. They are also really anal retentive when it comes to anything security related. With good reason, after all they are getting paid the big bucks to be. Meet Glenn. Say hi Glenn (I'm busy, go away) not a very social creature, Glenn is a Linux server admin. He spends most of his time on security websites and learning about the latest nasty when he isn't testing a new tweak on the test server to see if he can get an extra .05% performance under load. In his free time he enjoys black hat conferences, which his employer is happy to pay him to attend.

Now we are going to meet an average Windows desktop user. Meet Velma. say hi Velma (Hi Y'all!) isn't she sweet? Little Velma works at the local insurance agency. they love her there because she can take one look at a customer and without looking up a shred of paperwork say something like this "Hi Bob! How's your oldest girl? You know she's about ready to get her learner's permit so I've already looked up the most affordable coverage for her. Does she have really good grades? She can get an extra discount if she does" and so on. Little Velma is really good at generating sales. She is sweet and friendly and always knows your name and remembers all about your family. Everybody loves little Velma.

/cue ominous music......But we here in the PC business have a nickname for little Velma, one that she don't know about but is well earned it is....the disaster area! Dum dum dum! That is because little Velma is the trusting kind of sort, and on a computer that equals danger. Let's watch as little Velma interacts with her friendly neighborhood PC repairman, a big but lovable biker looking chap known on the net as hairyfeet.../feet/Now Velma, we have talked about this. you shouldn't mess with email attachments, I don't care who they are from. And if it is a .zip that you have to put a password to open it is a virus and you shouldn't touch it! /Velma/ But my bff Kim sent me this! See there is her name and everything! I'm sure it will be safe! /feet/Velma look, it is an executable and NOT happy puppy pictures! Do NOT run that! /Velma/ Oh, you worry too much. My bff Kim wouldn't send me anything bad. (inputs password, runs .exe, porn popups start flooding the screen while the network gets pounded) ooops. /feet/ ....... [roflposters.com]

And now you have seen an actual demonstration of why Linux is safe on servers. It is safe on servers because it is administered by guys like Glenn, say goodbye Glenn (I'm busy!) and does NOT have any Velma types mucking it up. Say goodbye Velma (Bye Y'all!). If you were to let Velma and all her friends loose on Linux if they didn't break them immediately they would become spambots in no time. It is because the malware writers have already figured out how to use a sinister concept called social engineering to target Velma and her types VERY effectively. Glenn isn't very social (Bite Me!) and is a naturally cynical creature and therefor social engineering really isn't an effective tool on his type. This is why Linux can enjoy the freedom to operate on some many servers across America without the constant malware like poor Velma gets. Tune in next week when we meet Bob, the Windows network admin, also known as the "where the hell is the damned disk?" guy.

Re:Right..... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28070007)

I never use Windows to visit banking/credit card/money websites, and I advise all my friends to do the same.
Then you sir, are a fool. Literally hundreds of millions do this just fine without incident. Someday I hope you learn the difference between a few hyperbolic anecdotes and statistics. Especially in this case where it seems it's the OEM's fault. Linux is just a vulnerable in this regard.

Re:Right..... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070081)

Yeah, I know what you mean, like, 5 in 6 play Russian Roulette and survive. Should be safe, right? As for me, I will try to increase the odds of NOT having my bank account cleaned out by mean people, and I don't care if it IS the OEM's fault because they aren't going to fill my bank account back up again. Avoiding Windows is a good way to do that.

Also, since you like statistics so much, let's talk about them: statistically speaking you are much less likely to get malware on a Linux machine. If that ever changes, I will advise my friends to not use Linux as well for banking purposes. I don't get religious when it comes to money.

Also, I question your statistic. Do literally hundreds of millions of people bank online? Are you sure about that? If you have a source, I'd be interested in seeing it. Because most people in this world don't even have a computer.

Re:Right..... (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070261)

Linux doesn't protect you from falling for phishing attacks, which is how they get most people these days.

In fact if you are naive enough to think "I use linux, I'm safe!" then you are probably more likely to fall for them.

Frankly, Linux is very much not a secure system, not in most cases anyway. I'd take XP and Linux as about equivalent on the security front, as a patched/firewalled XP machine with AV software is reasonably secure. Moreso than most Linux builds, the only thing protecting Linux (and to be fair, right now it is a huge protection) is its unpopularity among desktop users. As any good security professional knows, security through obscurity is the weakest form of security there is. Windows doesn't have that to lean on, and look how well it does. It isn't perfect, but 99.9% of all threats are targeted at Windows, and yet it takes user intervention to infect it in 99.8% of cases.

If Linux were to over-night become immensely popular on the desktop, within weeks it would be the laughing stock of security professionals. All of its holes would be exposed and exploited, stuff that nobody is looking for right now would be blown wide open, and all the Linux preachers would have egg on their faces. Same is probably true with OSX, but they are already in somewhat of the limelight and wouldn't fall nearly as hard.

None of that should happen if the transition is gradual, though.

Re:Right..... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070351)

I think you've failed to see my point. From a statistical standpoint, you are much less likely to get malware on a linux machine than on a windows machine. How does your post even address that point? Your go through making vague assertions and quoting statistics that are probably made up, finishing with the assertion that Linux is full of holes waiting to be blown wide open. Not only does it fail to address my point, it's a non-sequiter. What, exactly, is the purpose of your post?

Re:Right..... (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070221)

Linux can be run from a CD/DVD where malware has a far far harder time getting the chance to do anything. Windows cannot. So therefore doing your internet banking that way is far far more secure than using any version of Windows, no matter how invulnerable you might pretend that it is.

Re:Right..... (1)

rliden (1473185) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070339)

Yes, because having Linux preinstalled with malware and having to deal with that would be much more user friendly.

If someone has installed keyloggers and rootkits on you Linux box it will be no easier or more friendly to deal with than any other OS or system.

Re:Right..... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070409)

Exactly, you said it first my friend, Linux is no easier or more friendly to deal with than any other OS, and vice versa.

Who watches the... (5, Insightful)

yerktoader (413167) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069649)

But trusting another computer depends on knowing it's clean of malware. I'd think it a better bet for Kaspersky to offer bootable thumb drives with a slim OS and their software, allowing users to scan any machine with a known good device.

Re:Who watches the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069783)

Until it is discovered that there is a worm on the Kaspersky thumb drive that is infecting machines... and then that gets blamed on someone updating bios files at the factory and accidentally infecting the machines used to load the thumb drives... and then...

Re:Who watches the... (1)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070187)

Thats why Windows never even got a chance to start on my netbook, installed Fedora right away. Now I have a useless sticker at the bottom that says I'm a proud Windows license owner...

Heh. (1, Informative)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069653)

False sense of security (4, Insightful)

Len (89493) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069917)

Devices with any OS can come with malware. Even iPods [sophos.com] and picture frames [securityfocus.com] have been shipped with malware pre-installed. There's nothing magic about Linux, other than its ability to suppress the geek skepticism reflex.

Re:False sense of security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28070013)

Devices with any OS can come with malware. Even iPods [sophos.com] and picture frames [securityfocus.com] have been shipped with malware pre-installed. There's nothing magic about Linux, other than its ability to suppress the geek skepticism reflex.

Reference please?

Re:False sense of security (0)

Laser_iCE (1125271) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070157)

Huh? He's given two. Or do you mean a reference to the suppression of the geek skepticism reflex?

Re:False sense of security (0, Troll)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070161)

Those iPods and picture frames shipped with Windows malware on them. Who really gives a crap if your linux netbook comes with windows malware on it? It's not like you are going to be mounting your netbook on a windows computer and having it autorun some nasty shit.

Hell, even if the linux netbook came with linux malware preinstalled I don't think I'd be mad, just impressed.... ;)

Re:False sense of security (1)

Len (89493) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070379)

If the malware is installed at the point of manufacture, it can easily be tailored for whatever device it's installed on. It's trivial to write malware for Linux when it can be installed to run as root at boot time! Even I can do that, and I'm a Windows programmer. [flickr.com] :-)

Re:False sense of security (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070429)

I'm very sceptical that these infections are intentional. Don't attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Re:False sense of security (0, Troll)

rliden (1473185) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070407)

You have to be shitting me right? These posts are exactly why I wish this was the year of the linux desktop. If linux had a majority of the desktop market don't think for one moment that it wouldn't see targeted attacks. The source of the malware is banking on the widest user base. They don't give one shit what OS you're running. If the user base numbers were reversed it would be linux malware on those devices not windows.

Re:False sense of security (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070443)

The main difference is the vast difference in security practices between the two platforms. The only reason malware on ipods and photo frames is dangerous is because windows by default thinks that it's clever to auto-execute code off of external devices.

Re:False sense of security (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28070163)

Devices with any OS can come with malware. Even iPods [sophos.com] and picture frames [securityfocus.com] have been shipped with malware pre-installed. There's nothing magic about Linux, other than its ability to suppress the geek skepticism reflex.

Interestingly, the incidents you linked to involved malware for windows machines. Yes any storage system can contain malware, be it for the host OS or an alternate, but a lot of it is targeted at windows as your examples show.

Re:False sense of security (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070385)

it's targeted at windows because of market share. If you're being told "run this executable", and you do it, it doesn't matter if it hides its results in C:\WINDOWS\system.dll or in /home/acoward/.bashrc

Re:False sense of security (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28070401)

You're a fucking idiot. It's because nobody uses Linux. If people actually used it, it would be targeted towards Linux and the headline would read "Malware Found on Brand-New Linux Netbook".

Or... (5, Informative)

Kythe (4779) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069661)

You could always reformat the darned thing from scratch using a known-good version of whatever OS you're going to be using.

Honestly, ever since Vista became the de-facto OS shipped with new computers, I've been doing that, anyway.

Re:Or... (5, Insightful)

yerktoader (413167) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069681)

You know, I always thought it would be a good idea to ship PC's without the OS loaded. If the end user had to set up the OS it would force them to learn the basics...But that's why I'm an ex-tech support asshole I guess.

Re:Or... (2, Funny)

Anarchduke (1551707) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069829)

I like that idea. Of course, I like it because I could charge those people to install their operating system for them at 60 bucks an hour.

Re:Or... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069937)

Better still, keep the original hard disk drive, and buy a new one for your OS and data files. If you want to sell it to trade up or send it in for repair, you can restore the old disk drive without any problems about warranty or data loss.

Press Release: Stunt number 43242 (4, Insightful)

JK_Huysmans (1561025) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069667)

Oh, how I love Kaspersky's constant press releases.

"OMG Virus! Buy our product!"

All they seem capable of for marketing is different stunts related to finding viruses in weird places. Come on. Seriously.

Re:Press Release: Stunt number 43242 (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069705)

I'd be more alarmed if they gave equal press to sky-diving accidents or deep sea diving developments.

Re:Press Release: Stunt number 43242 (1)

JK_Huysmans (1561025) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069733)

Right.

"OMG, we found a virus at the bottom of the sea! Buy Kaspersky!"

Re:Press Release: Stunt number 43242 (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069831)

That would be alarming. Quite So. Unless they found a hard drive dropped by someone hoping to dispose of the data.

Re:Press Release: Stunt number 43242 (3, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069789)

As I don't use Windows, AV company security blogs tells me a lot about the security scene after I filter the PR.

Also Kaspersky never says ''buy our product'', they don't need such stupid stunts. A person who buys one of those cheapo TW netbooks won't likely afford their product either. They say ''a security product'' without mentioning any brand while they have right to advertise their own.

Once upon a time, computer vendors (including Taiwanese) were decent enough to run a god damn antivirus (standard was 3 of them) before shipping the computer. I guess they are targeting old timers reminding them it is not the case anymore.

Re:Press Release: Stunt number 43242 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28070331)

A press release is only works if news sources choose to publish it...

But not with a thumb drive! (2, Insightful)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069675)

they install security software, update it by retrieving the latest definition file on another computer, and transferring that update to the new system, then running a full antivirus scan.

Just be sure to scan the thumb drive so you're not infecting it!

They really hand-install drivers? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069685)

I kind of figured that computer manufacturers had hard drive arrays to clone a pre-made installation. Pull each drive off the rack, put it in the computer, and make sure it boots, then box it.

They're really installing drivers by having some schmuck walk around with a USB stick?

Re:They really hand-install drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069907)

Perhaps they were updating the drive image?

Would make sense, take old drive image, update software, pull drive and build new image for machines.

Re:They really hand-install drivers? (2, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069933)

You're right about using drive images. However, when I was responsible for rolling out lease-return machines, we were re-imaging the systems from install CDs, rather than using "hard drive arrays." It's far easier to pop an auto-installing CD into the tray than it is to remove the hard drive, install it in an array, re-image it, then re-install it back into the PC.

It's not a very painful process -- about all you had to do was click "Ok" after the imaging CD booted and asked you if you were sure you wanted to re-image the machine.

Then again, IBM has always had some pretty slick install/imaging utilities for their machines.

Moot issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069689)

Isn't WoW's installation & update footprint larger then a netbook's storage capacity any ways?

Re:Moot issue? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069989)

Not necessarily. WOW itself takes up less than 12 GB on my system. I can easily get a USB jumpdrive larger than that, or even a HDD.

Beyond that, people do visit Blizzard's website to access their account, for various reasons.

Convenience! (5, Funny)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069713)

I'm so glad to see this innovative feature finally being boldly embraced by an OEM. Until now, it's been sheer drudgery, waiting the twelve minutes or so it takes to get a new Windows install infected just felt like forEVar!

Netbooks.... (1)

boppacesagain08 (1317259) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069765)

The thinnest, lightest, most-mobile way to have your identity stolen yet! Unless of course iPod shuffles start coming with rootkits to steal the title...

Remind me again (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069773)

Would somebody out there please explain why AutoRun was ever considered a Good Idea? I know that before I got rid of Windows and went Linux only, one of the first things I'd do on a new computer was disable it.

Re:Remind me again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069821)

On a back up USB drive to run a script to back up the host automatically. Many more reasons.

Re:Remind me again (2, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069879)

AutoRun should bring up a prompt, asking if you want to run the software, and remind you that you shouldn't let it run unless you were expecting it and know what it's for. That way, if you have a thumb drive that's not supposed to have anything on it but some driver updates, and the AutoRun prompt shows up, you know something's wrong. It wouldn't be fool-proof, because there are always going to be people who click OK without understanding what's going on, but it probably would have stopped this from happening.

Re:Remind me again (4, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070155)

No, AutoRun should not exist. You can't create a warning that scares people into clicking "no". If you try that, the first thing the customers do is call your support line asking why their copy of [Insert expensive software package here] contains a virus when it is really just set to automatically run their installer. Then, the only valid use of AutoRun becomes a black mark for software vendors and they stop using it, making it a completely useless technology.

The only possible way to make AutoRun be usable without being a gaping security hole is to require that all AutoRun software be signed using a signing key distributed by the OS vendor. Unfortunately, that could be a slippery slope to requiring all apps be signed (at significant cost), which would be a giant step backwards for small software vendors, open source, etc. Such a security measure would also have to have been done from the very beginning to avoid the problem of existing apps causing panic attacks in end users.

The only solution is to kill AutoRun completely. It should not exist. It has no good reason for existing. The only thing it really does is by its nature a security hole. Just shut it off already.

Re:Remind me again (3, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070405)

And as a PC repairman I can say that autorun isn't even in the top 5 of ways an average Windows machine that crosses my desk gets boned. Hell I wouldn't even put it in the top ten. Maybe somewhere in the top twenty. The number 1 2 and 3 are 1-Hot_Lesbos.mpg.exe 2-Lame_pop_song.mp3.exe 3-here are those pics I promised! ( unsolicited email attachment from friend with password protected zip file).

Honestly the guy that put "do not show file extensions for known file types" as the default should have gotten a really good firing. That and the fact that on 95-XP if you choose to uncheck the "do not show file extensions" checkbox and hit rename explorer automatically will pick the ENTIRE file, including the extension. Which means if you let them see the extension you end up with a bunch of files renamed with no file extension that the user then has no clue what5 to do with or how to open. That was just some really stupid UI design.

Oh and for the PC repair guys out there that are having to wipe and reinstall Windows a lot, or like me build a lot of new XP machines, I would recommend Almeza Multiset [almeza.com] to make you life a whole lot easier. I have a lot of programs like Oxygen Office and Klite Mega Codec Pack that I give my customers so when they get the box they can just flip the switch and go. With Almeza I only have to install and configure a program once and Almeza will make a nice unattended install CD with whatever programs I choose set the way I want them, be it FF3 with ABP, OO.o, whatever. All I do is pick "install all" and go have a smoke and when I return she is ready to go. I am not connected with the company in any way, it is just the best $39.99 I've spent when it comes to having to work on Windows.

Re:Remind me again (2, Insightful)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070015)

On a back up USB drive to run a script to back up the host automatically.

Why on earth would that be a function of the usb drive and not the something running on the machine -- unless your intention is to 'backup' your friends machines or something -- in other words why wouldn't you implement that as a script on the machine that runs when a specific usb devices are connected to the machine?

Your idea just sounds like you're seeing nails because of the hammer in your hand...

Many more reasons.

Lets hear them, please.

Re:Remind me again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28070313)

please explain why AutoRun was ever considered a Good Idea?
 
The same people who dreamed up auto run invented Windows registry. So I assume yours was a rhetorical question.

Re:Remind me again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28070431)

Malware which uses "autorun" (often, anyway) doesn't do so with actual "auto run" features, but with bugs in Windows which cause USB thumb-drives to be seen by windows as "USB devices" requiring drivers, while at the same time being regular USB thumb-drives. Windows says "ooo! A device! I want drivers for it. Where shall I find them? Oh, I know! The removable media!"

And of course, guess what you're going to click if you're using a USB thumb-drive to install drivers and a window pops up which says "Hi, I found an unknown device, would you like to install the driver I found on this USB thumb-drive?"

Just be sure.... (1)

gjyoung (320540) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069807)

"install security software, update it by retrieving the latest definition file on another computer, and transferring that update to the new system, then running a full antivirus scan.""

And be sure not to use an infected thumb drive m'kay?

Nothing new... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069857)

"Malware on a Windows machine" is a tautology and a Slashdot headline.

Slashdot, it has become what IT is.

Redundant headline? (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069883)

Malware Found On Brand-New Windows Netbook

You repeat yourself.

Re:Redundant headline? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069915)

HURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR what a funny and original joke!!

Why Laptops with windows at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28069895)

If I buy a laptops I use them for work and learning, so they naturally run linux.

why would I want to buy a laptop for gaming and put windows on it?

makes no sense.

probably engineers with their cad programms but there are alternatives coming out on linux too, software is slowly migrating so linux version are most commonly availble, or a very good alternative

manual driver installs? (2, Insightful)

Timberfox (1537013) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069911)

i would figure that a company who produces that many computers would be imaging each hardrive from some master or something, not hap hazzardly using a random virus filled thumb drive.

Uh, what the... ? (2, Interesting)

c (8461) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070023)

"transferring that update to the new system, then running a full antivirus scan."

I guess I've been out of the Microsoft ecosystem for a long, long time... is it now common practice to run AV scans in a probably compromised environment? Or are malware authors so lazy these days that they can't even bother to write code which breaks any installed AV software?

c.

I didn't get any malware (4, Funny)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070089)

so I am returning mine. Why do THEY get all the good stuff?? You mean I have to go ONLINE and download this 'malware' myself?? And they get 3 out of the box!

DON'T even THINK about making me pay for shipping the return!!

Chicken or the egg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28070105)

So then. To set up a new pc, the anti-virus and definitions need to be downloaded on an existing and already secured PC.

Which presumably in turn was set up from an already secure pc, and so on and so forth...dilemma!

Odds are the first ever PC to be connected to the net had its antivirus handcoded and primed before it was connected, allowing its "secure" wonderfullness to be passed down from generation to generation..

No... (1)

indy_Muad'Dib (869913) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070147)

the best thing to do is a wipe with DBAN then virgin install with a non OEM crapware filled copy of windows. or throw your favorite copy of *nix on there.

Buy our shit, seriously! (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070171)

Kaspersky releases "news" article about their virus scanner saving the day, while casting doubt on all PC vendors. Solution: Buy our shit!

I don't care whether it's malware, weapons of mass destruction, or kiddie porn. It's all baseless fear-mongering to push corporate or political influence, in the end it's all just money.

What they of course fail to highlight is the fact that the solution is neither effective nor guaranteed to work. Kaspersky's scanner, like any scanner, cannot catch all malware, just like Bush couldn't (wouldn't?) catch OBL. Perhaps worse is the high rate of false positives, such as when your virus scanner mistakenly recognizes a Linux ISO as a boot sector virus, or your republican mistakenly recognizes a Linux hacker as an islamic terrorist. Bullshit all around!

To ensure that a new PC is malware-free... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070189)

...wipe it and install a new OS. There are several available. They are quite inexpensive. In fact, they are Free.

WoW on a netbook? (1)

LunarEffect (1309467) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070265)

Would you actually be able to run WoW on this netbook? I mean, 1.6ghz and 1gb ram is pushing it a bit, no?

Re:WoW on a netbook? (1)

Tigersmind (1549183) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070335)

There is a video on youtube of someone doing it. It ran, laggy but you could grind in the world a bit or just check on things if needed in game.

Virus really such a threat? (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 4 years ago | (#28070309)

How prevalent are viruses really? I've never had one in 16 years of Windows, at least 10 of which the PC's regularly been connected to the internet. Not even at the office, where we have about 80 machines with each one restoring data from a client at least once a week.

I've only once seen a friend/family have an infection (more on that later), though admittedly some of them wouldn't know unless it was crippling. On the other hand there was a couple of years into XP where malware, mostly the odd toolbar, was not uncommon, but I hardly see that anymore unless you count google and yahoo.

I play games, use forums, download stuff, don't take any particular precautions bar free firewall and anti-virus software. I do keep windows up to date and I don't pirate anything though, and I only used an email client (Thunderbird) for about a year, when I had a good junk filter (the only time my AV has had a positive it was in that junk folder).

I do recall I was once temporarily renting a room and I cleared out the landlady's laptop which was utterly infested (though, it turned out it was her boyfriends, he was working overseas). I'll chalk that one down to the user though since a short time later she found MSN, it logged into her boyfriend's account automatically and she was bombarded with his numerous girl and boyfriends asking if he could sneak off to the usual place at say 9 for a quickie? I told her it could be fake, generated by the viruses, but she had pretended to be him, they were clearly real people in the local area who knew him personally. We had several conversations about that but she was still too embarrassed to say what she found in the browser history. She was really something and that little episode nearly worked out very well for me, but, well it was all too likely that he had done to her what he had done to the laptop so I wasn't going to plug in my equipment.

Re:Virus really such a threat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28070403)

Ewww. Mod parent
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