In the wise words of Scooby Doo: “Ruh Roh!” Yes, apparently somehow Samsung thought it would be wise to include spyware pre-installed on select Samsung notebooks it offers. Worse, it apparently never saw an issue with this practice! You know it’s funny as people always ask me why I run the OS I do and a big part of it is that I KNOW what comes installed on my computers. This isn’t a jab at Microsoft, rather a jab at the fact that some PC vendors are pretty sleazy in their practices.
Realistically though, we must understand that most people are perfectly happy using the platform they’re used to running each day. So expecting them to dump one for another, simply out of fear that their new notebook might be running something malicious, is just insane. But the problem remains, though: can your new computer be trusted?
Using security software to locate malware/keyloggers
You will generally find that most malicious software can be detected by a decent AV or security suite. The general rule here is that it’s not designed by the people you purchased the notebook from, of course. And then there is the problem of something chip-based, outside of the OS, which would be completely hidden anyway. Another possibility is software that is custom built, undetected by your security software. Boy, suddenly the idea of building your own notebook doesn’t seem all that insane after all!
The problem is that all one can really do is reduce their chances of becoming the next lucky contestant of “rook-kits-are-us.” Avoid companies with a history of ignoring your privacy. Sony is amongst these companies and sadly, now so is Samsung. I hate looping Samsung into this mix as I swear by its monitors and TVs, but would definitely avoid using anything it sells with the ability to transmit after this latest mess.
Trust in computing
I suggest that, even with new computers, you run anti-malware and keylogger scanners first thing. Apparently, it seems, there are occasions where you might end up with a full-on hit. Even though Samsung (finally) appears to be investigating the matter closely, this entire incident should serve as a reminder that even new computers can already have an exploit running on them. Remember, it pays to trust no one when it comes to your privacy.