Samsung: Keylogger Accusation Is False

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Computer maker Samsung has issued a strident denial that it pre-installs secret keylogging software on its computers.

As we reported yesterday, security consultant Mohamed Hassan, writing at Network World, said he’d found evidence that Samsung was installing a keylogging tool called Starlogger.

Today Samsung said: “The statements that Samsung installs keylogger on R525 and R540 laptop computers are false.”

Keylogging software does what it sounds like – it logs every keystroke you make. In theory, it could be used to spy on someone’s use of a computer, capturing everything they type. Including passwords.

Hassan said he found Starlogger on two Samsung laptops. When he called Samsung to ask what was going on, a supervisor on their support team confirmed the software and said it was there to “monitor the performance of the machine and to find out how it is being used.”

The guys at F-Secure were suspicious about the whole thing, so they did an experiment of their own. They went to a computer store and looked for Starlogger on a bunch of Samsung laptops there. Result? Nothing.

Samsung says Hassan got a false positive result, and that his scanning software mistook a simple language file for the keylogger.

That doesn’t explain the mysterious statement Hassan got from the support supervisor, but it looks increasingly like this was all a big misunderstanding.