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Australia Data Storage Security Hardware

Australian ALDIs Sell Conficker-Infected Hard Drives 75

Posted by timothy
from the wish-american-aldis-sold-electronics-at-all dept.
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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Australian ALDIs Sell Conficker-Infected Hard Drives

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  • by lewko (195646) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:03AM (#36918698) Homepage

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

  • 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 :)

  • I smell a discount! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jwijnands (2313022) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:33AM (#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.
    • by 1s44c (552956)

      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.

      • 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.

      • by JamesP (688957)

        A fresh install of Linux should do the trick.

    • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday July 29, 2011 @05:09AM (#36918968) Homepage

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

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

    • by rbrausse (1319883)

      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].

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      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

      • by JSBiff (87824)

        "...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.

    • by Smask (665604)
      Some new USB hard drives comes preformatted or at least have a small partition loaded with drivers and/or backup software.
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      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.

    • 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 l

  • 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.
  • 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.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      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

      • by operagost (62405)
        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.
        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          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 th

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

    • 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.
    • 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.

    • by adeft (1805910)
      I've seen full on laptops for sale at my Aldi's. I'm located in PA.
    • by Hatta (162192)

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

  • by trum4n (982031)
    I thought Conflicker turned out to be a complete joke. What does it actually do?
    • 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.

      • by trum4n (982031)
        Ah, thanks. All i really heard was the panic before the active date. AKA the news made shit up to get ratings again.
  • But a supermarket selling hard drives?

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