HP Ships Malware Loaded Flash Cards

Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 05:04 PM gHale

Hewlett-Packard (HP) inadvertently shipped virus-laden compact flash cards with its networking kit and the computer giant just sent out a warning after discovering the problem.

The unnamed malware appeared on flash cards that came bundled with HP ProCurve 5400zl switches. The flash card wouldn’t do anything on the switch itself but “reuse of an infected compact flash card in a personal computer could result in a compromise of that system’s integrity,” HP warned in a bulletin.

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It’s unclear how the malware got onto the Flash cards that come bundled with the 10 Gbps-capable line of LAN switches, but an infected computer somewhere in the manufacturing process could be where the issue arose.

These kinds of problems have happened before. In 1999, the FunLove virus infected machines in a Dell factory. HP also distributed printer drivers corrupted by FunLove after malware-filled files uploaded to its website back in 2001.

The latest incident is more like a case from 2008, when HP Australia warned malware infected optional USB keys shipped with some of its ProLiant servers. A batch of 256MB and 1GB USB keys that shipped with the servers ended up infected by the Fakerecy and SillyFDC, both low-risk strains of malware.

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