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Australian ALDIs Sell Conficker-Infected Hard Drives

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the wish-american-aldis-sold-electronics-at-all dept.

Australia 75

mukimu writes "Supermarket ALDI has been selling malware-infected hard drives in Australian stores, prompting the country's Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT) to issue a security alert to users on behalf of the government. ALDI has had to issue a recall on the products, which contained components of Conficker, and remove the product from its stores. AusCERT noted that the worm should be picked up by antivirus given it is extremely old and past its heyday when it infected Australian Banks and transport infrastructure."

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Damned German chains... (3, Funny)

lewko (195646) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918698)

And whatever you do, don't mention the war.

Re:Damned German chains... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36918760)

> And whatever you do, don't mention the war.

Entschuldigung! :O

Re:Damned German chains... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36918848)

And whatever you do, don't mention the war.

You started it.

Re:Damned German chains... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919088)

And whatever you do, don't mention the war.

You started it.

No ve didn't!

Re:Damned German chains... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919156)

And whatever you do, don't mention the war.

You started it.

No ve didn't!

Yes you did! You invaded Poland!

Re:Damned German chains... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919626)

well played

Re:Damned German chains... (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920218)

We were invited. Punch vas served. Check vit Poland.

Re:Damned German chains... (0)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919126)

And whatever you do, don't mention the war.

You started it.

lewko mentioned it once, but I think he got away with it.

Re:Damned German chains... (0)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919286)

I cant believe this god modded 'troll'... some /. folks are complete heathens.

No mod points, but +1 funny anyway...

Re:Damned German chains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919322)

yes, some /. folks are complete heathens - pathetic, childish heathens who can't even make an original joke. that's why god modded it troll

Re:Damned German chains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919768)

This joke has been repeated so many times, it's as funny as a knock knock joke or a rickroll.

Either you live under a rock or have a mastubatory OCD.

-1 tedious

Re:Damned German chains... (1)

lewko (195646) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920468)

They just have a German sense of humour.

Re:Damned German chains... (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36922482)

As Mark Twain once said: "a German joke is no laughing matter".

Re:Damned German chains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36923374)

He was just pissed off that he was too stupid to learn the language :)

Re:Damned German chains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919388)

/. once had some intelligence. Don't mention that either.

Re:Damned German chains... (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919780)

people still said that in 1997 , whats new.

Re:Damned German chains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36920034)

It doesn't make it less true.

Older /. : Newer /. :: /. : Reddit & Digg

Basically, the further along in time, the worse /. gets, which will sadly still be better than Reddit and Digg.

IMBECILE! (0)

Cant use a slash wtf (1973166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918734)

Do not speak like that about the overlord! You shall be smited by the low, low prices yet surprisingly good quality of the Aldi!

Re:IMBECILE! (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918892)

Do not speak like that about the overlord! You shall be smited by the low, low prices yet surprisingly good quality of the Aldi!

ALDI does look like a cheap dump but you are right about some of the stuff. They have some very cheap good quality things.

Re:IMBECILE! (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920816)

The suprising thing (to me at least) is that the Albrecht brothers (owners of ALDI) are two of the richest men in the world. You would think that having low prices and high quality would lead to thin margins and not much profit left over, but they have really done well with that company. They don't move anywhere near the volume of WalMart worldwide, and yet still park their yachts right next to the Waltons.

Re:IMBECILE! (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36922570)

Economy of Scale wins in the end...

stay smart (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918744)

the homepage is funny, if you click on the big fat "Stay Smart Online" logo on the upper left you get a message box with the content "You are now leaving the Stay Smart Online Alert Service website." sure, technically correct (stay smart alert service is different to stay smart), but nonetheless irritating...

and the advisories [ssoalertservice.net.au] list only Apple updates :)

cool story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36918748)

, bro.

I smell a discount! (3, Interesting)

jwijnands (2313022) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918838)

I'd take it for half price and clean it myself. After cleaning most of a rather large windows estate of conficker I think I still remember how to do it.

Re:I smell a discount! (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918870)

shred -z -n 0 /dev/$disk
or
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/$disk bs=$((1024 * 1024))

Less fun than thermite but you get to reuse the disk.

Re:I smell a discount! (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918942)

Shouldn't a simple reformat (i.e. rewriting the file system structures) already take care of it? OK, to be completely sure, also rewrite the MBR (there might be a boot sector virus on the disk as well). But I don't see the need to overwrite everything on the disk. It's not private or secret data you want to hide from others. You don't need to erase every trace of it; you just need to make sure the computer won't execute it.

Re:I smell a discount! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919740)

Nuke it. Nuke it from space!!

Re:I smell a discount! (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36923166)

A fresh install of Linux should do the trick.

Re:I smell a discount! (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918968)

I'd mark up the price of clean drives as "Virus free", (ala DRM free), and sell the standard drive as "Free virus".

Re:I smell a discount! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919034)

That was exactly my first thought.

Aaaand I was gonna rant asking how they could have been so pighead lazy as to not do it themselves, but I realized that would cut into the vital profits so they weren't pighead lazy, they were pighead arrogant.

Re:I smell a discount! (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919152)

What, arrogant? Estimating that having employees unpack the drives, clean them, and pack them again cost more than new drives is arrogant? How?

Re:I smell a discount! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919260)

What, arrogant? Estimating that having employees unpack the drives, clean them, and pack them again cost more than new drives is arrogant? How?

By not telling their consumers and assuming it would get a pass? By hoping that no one would notice and selling it without warning?

Now, please. If you believe that someone selling tainted goods mixed in with regular goods without indicating, prior to being caught, that there was a taint and is continuing to sell said product on their website according to the linked article, isn't arrogance, then I'd like to know what you believe it is. Bone headed stupidity? Insolent greed? All of these are results of believing they wouldn't get caught, that they were gambling against their consumers being able to figure this out. That they *arrogantly* believed they could get away with this because, I dunno, I guess they're special somehow?

This isn't arrogance? What is it then?

Re:I smell a discount! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36920000)

Uh, they maybe didn't know that the disks were infected? Hanlon's razor, dude.

Re:I smell a discount! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919562)

Given your experience with conficker you must also be extremely old.

Feature! (1)

Antarius (542615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918854)

It will be repackaged and marketed as a 5-in-1 device now.

mod do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36918864)

Re:mod do3n (0)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918902)

Funny as goatse links are they are getting a bit old.

Can we go back to rickrolling? That's fun for all the family.

Re:mod do3n (0)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919136)

great, now i have to think of that "russian rickroll" guy again!

Are they selling used hard drives? (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918954)

How in the hell does a brand-new out-of-the-box hard drive contain a virus? You would think the hard drive manufacturers can easily prevent this from happening during manufacturing, so I have to assume ALDI are selling used drives? Is this common practice in Oz?

I've NEVER seen used anything-computer sold at a supermarket. Brand-new in-the-box USB hard drives, maybe, but not internal drives. And I certainly would not buy one if the package has been opened. Perhaps they are returns that have been infected by the first purchaser?

Re:Are they selling used hard drives? (2)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918992)

new hardware with pre-installed malware is rare but not unheard of. a short search shows external drives [hqlaptops.com] , photo frames [tomshardware.com] and laptops [theregister.co.uk] .

Re:Are they selling used hard drives? (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919028)

Actually I can easily explain it. You see China has one of the highest rates of Windows piracy bar none and I have no doubt those machines on the floor putting the little free crap they always seem to put on drives (like backup software, or those little app launcher thingies) are running "Windows XP Corporate SP2 Reloaded Edition" and haven't seen a single patch since they downloaded the .ISO.

So all it takes is someone playing an infected CD, surfing on the thing, or even being paid by some malware group to plug in an infected drive and the Windows is pwned. After that any drive plugged into it gets infected and voila! hell it wouldn't surprise me if they made an image to flash the drives and the machine doing the imaging has more viruses than a Bangkok whore on a Saturday night. stupid is as stupid does I suppose.

Re:Are they selling used hard drives? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921644)

"...has more viruses than a Bangkok whore on a Saturday night."

Yeah, you should definitely always visit them on Monday - they're much cleaner then.

Re:Are they selling used hard drives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36924678)

Well maybe not for viruses specifically... but cephalexin is a helluva drug.

Re:Are they selling used hard drives? (1)

Smask (665604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919078)

Some new USB hard drives comes preformatted or at least have a small partition loaded with drivers and/or backup software.

Re:Are they selling used hard drives? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919208)

How in the hell does a brand-new out-of-the-box hard drive contain a virus?

I'm guessing they connect them all to a PC at the the manufacturing plant to see if they're working/not before they ship them out. If a PC gets infected then every drive you connect to it will get a copy of the virus.

Re:Are they selling used hard drives? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919714)

How in the hell does a brand-new out-of-the-box hard drive contain a virus? You would think the hard drive manufacturers can easily prevent this from happening during manufacturing,

I don't think the problem was the hard drive manufacturer. Hard drives are made by a small handful of large well known companies, they usually ship without a partition table and I suspect they are tested by plugging them into special test gear.

The product in question was a "Fission External 4-in-1 Hard Drive, DVD, USB and Card Reader". "Fission" are presumablly some smallish company (my googling attempts find no evidence of their existance beyond this news story) most likely located in the far east (where labour is cheap) who take the raw hard drives, load them up with an image containing a parittion table, filesystem structures and any software they want to bundle and then install them in their product.

Since ALDI claim this was "limited to a small number of the devices" I suspect the infection came during final testing when someone plugged them into an infected machine for final testing. Afaict pirate software with updates disabled is very common in the far east.

Re:Are they selling used hard drives? (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920198)

I know it's amazing they may not be used. But at least they are not the only one that has problems like this http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10137032-83.html [cnet.com] Circuit City and Wal-Mart and who knows who else has had problems.

We are the Borg. (1)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | more than 3 years ago | (#36918976)

Resistance is futile.

But seriously, viruses want to live too, right? Even though they're old, and no one wants them anymore... don't viruses deserve a chance to dance, and sing, and try to stay in the gene(?) pool just as long as they can? Haters gotta hate I guess.

I used to buy Froot Rings by the bushel at an aldi over on Sheridan somewhere in Chicago. Never thought they'd stoop so low as to sell viruses.

past it's use by date (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36918986)

lol, this is indicative of our ALDI store, mediocre stuff that is out of date...

It's Friday in Australia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36918988)

That means the spamming of Slashdot by the Aussie-lurvin' "editors" begins.

Australian Non-story after Australian non-story for yet another weekend.

Hooray.

Re:It's Friday in Australia. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919090)

Aussie here. I take your point, but a shop selling infected hard disks sounds like news for nerds to me.

Why not get off your arse ... (1, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919166)

Why not get off your arse and submit some stories from where you are instead?

Re:Why not get off your arse ... (0)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919676)

Why not get off your arse and submit some stories from where you are instead?

He's American, and too busy working eighteen hour days being a genius and keeping the world economy free from the hands of commies to have time to post on slashdot. Oh, wait...

Aldi have other stuff as well (1)

David at Eeyore (20627) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919054)

I just saw that item in a recent catalog - decided I didn't really want yet another combo reader USB hard disk thingy and passed on it. Just as well.. Aldi have good deals from time to time on cheap tools, both hand and electric. They appear to be well made for the price (in China, of course). Guess they have to satisfy a tough German home market. I got a 5 inch angle grinder a year or so ago, it has been a good performer.

Re:Aldi have other stuff as well (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919246)

I've got LIDL, not ALDI but it's pretty much the same thing. They do seem to take a lot of care to only sell good stuff (good for the price, that is...).

I got the monitor I'm looking at right now there. It's full 1080p and cost about the same as the brand-name 720p monitor next to it. I don't see any difference at all in image quality (in fact, the graphics for the pop-up menus are *identical* so I suspect they have the exact same internals...)

I wouldn't buy an angle grinder there for use on a building site but for something that's only going to get used a few times a year at home, no problem.

Re:Aldi have other stuff as well (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920852)

The problem I have with Aldi in the US is that they'll advertise something like a 5000W portable gas generator for $350, then only send two to the stores so that unless you camp out in front of the store with a kubotan to fed off your opponents (some call them "shoppers"), you ain't gettin' one.

Re:Aldi have other stuff as well (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36922446)

The problem I have with Aldi in the US is that they'll advertise something like a 5000W portable gas generator for $350, then only send two to the stores so that unless you camp out in front of the store with a kubotan to fed off your opponents (some call them "shoppers"), you ain't gettin' one.

A lot of stores do that - they usually call them "door crashers". And in the US, it oddly usually happens on the Friday that follows the 4th Thursday of November for whatever reason. The prevalence of online sales though has dampened it somewhat, so you usually see websites come to a crashing halt the moment the clock ticks from 11:59:59 to midnight (at whatever timezone they're using).

Could be worse ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919082)

could have been Stuxnet. .... Go US & Israel.

Makes you wonder... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919294)

If one of the "Big Box" retailers has moved into the natural successor to "competition" when monopolization has become pervasive: War.

and then conficker2 starts running about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919310)

undetected....

Supermarket? (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919444)

We're just going to gloss over the fact that a grocery store is selling hard drives (and that people actually go there to buy them)? I'm the only one to comment on that?

Is ALDI different in Australia than it is here? I have to assume it's more like a department store (similar to Walmart) than just a grocery store.

Re:Supermarket? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36919518)

ALDI is by far not a department store but it always has a limited assortment of promotion nonfood items for sale, rotated on a weekly basis.

Re:Supermarket? (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919792)

Yeah that was the first thing that came into my mind when I read the title (ummm...wtf). Maybe they were selling it as a "feature". Go figure.

Re:Supermarket? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919858)

We're just going to gloss over the fact that a grocery store is selling hard drives (and that people actually go there to buy them)? I'm the only one to comment on that?

Note that we aren't talking bare hard drives here we are talking about a "Fission External 4-in-1 Hard Drive, DVD, USB and Card Reader ".

Is ALDI different in Australia than it is here? I have to assume it's more like a department store (similar to Walmart) than just a grocery store.

ALDI at least in the UK seem to be a store selling a combination of discount groceries and discount "other stuff". What exactly the other stuff is varies but it's not unusual for their to be some computer stuff in the mix. Mind you most larger grocery stores in the UK sell some non-food stuff.

Re:Supermarket? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36920022)

more like a disposal store. They sell a small range of items at a low price. Some items are made to ALDI specs, like chocolate made with soy and not milk.

Re:Supermarket? (1)

adeft (1805910) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920748)

I've seen full on laptops for sale at my Aldi's. I'm located in PA.

Re:Supermarket? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921364)

ALDI will sell anything it can get at ridiculously low prices. You have to take the ridiculously low quality with it.

Wait. (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36919728)

I thought Conflicker turned out to be a complete joke. What does it actually do?

Re:Wait. (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920546)

It spreads through the network and any kind of usb storage, phones, ipods, usbsticks, screws up some security stuff, hides in multiple places and since it is botsoftware, your pc can be used for all kinds of nefarious ends.
Quite annoying to remove from all the PC's in a building I can assure you.

Re:Wait. (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921580)

Ah, thanks. All i really heard was the panic before the active date. AKA the news made shit up to get ratings again.

If you buy your hard drives at a supermarket.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36920958)

I dont feel bad for you

Re:If you buy your hard drives at a supermarket... (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36922902)

If you don't shop around for the best deal without being snobby about where it comes from, I feel sorry for you. Yes I know that in this case it had a negative attahced, but Conficker isn't exactly the worst threat in the world... not to mention that reputable hardware manufacturers have been hit by similar problems.

Is it just me... (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 3 years ago | (#36922636)

But a supermarket selling hard drives?

Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36941778)

Not to mention that they are selling Dole bananas which do not come from Australia but are advertised as a product of Australia and they are STILL charging $12.99/kg. The U.S. imports bananas via Dole and I can't imagine they are charging roughly 7USD for them. This is one of the more shady stores around.

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