Feeds

HP distributes virus infected drivers

Fails to stop old Funlove

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Hewlett-Packard has distributed printer drivers corrupted by a computer virus. The infected drivers were inadvertently uploaded onto the hardware giant's Web site, according to a report by Japanese news service Nikkei.

The plague drivers, which were distributed between 17 and 19 December 2000, contained the Funlove virus. The issue only came to light after complaints from HP users, and subsequent checks in Japan revealed that 51 program files for printer and BIOS drivers for servers had become infected.

Funlove, the same virus which infected Dell's Irish manufacturing plant 14 months ago, affects Windows 95/98/NT Workstation 4.0 PCs, and increases file sizes of programs stored in the disc drives.

Despite the fact the virus is not particularly destructive, the incident is a hugely embarrassing for HP - particularly when the lead story on the firm's Web site today trumpets its participation in the Information Technology Information Sharing and Analysis Center (IT-ISAC), the IT industry cyber-crime fighting club. Oh well, at least HP's experience of distributing viruses means it won't be short of something to discuss at this IT industry talking shop.

Nikkei quotes a spokesman for HP in Japan who estimated that around 1500 downloads of infected software had occurred. "At this point, we have not received any reports of actual damage from users," he added.

It is believed that the virus was somehow uploaded onto the Linux-based server of a HP affiliate in Australia which is responsible for developing driver packages suitable for countries like Japan. HP then transfers these its web servers for local download.

Graham Cluley, of anti-virus vendor Sophos, said it was likely that the PC of a developer working on the driver software became infected, resulting in the infection on either executable files or ActiveX controls associated with the driver. These infected files were then uploaded onto HP's Web server.

Cluley added: "Destroying files isn't considered 'disastrous' as they can easily be replaced by a clean backup. The damage here is to HP's reputation. This is an 'old' virus and HP's anti-virus software should have stopped it with ease."

Hewlett-Packard has reportedly formed a special team led by Mike Rose, chief Information Officer of HP, to thoroughly re-investigate the company's security system. ®

Related Link

Nikkei story

Related Stories

Virus writers and cracker love-in
Virus infection rates soar
Outbreak of viruses disguised as vaccines

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip
Look at the shiny Windows 8.1, why can't you people talk about 8.1, sobs an exec somewhere
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?