Feeds

Dell warns on spyware infected server motherboards

Windows snoopware buried in server firmware

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Updated Dell is warning customers that there is malware on some of its server motherboards.

The PowerEdge R410 Rack server has spyware within its embedded systems management software.

The direct seller is sending customers letters warning of the danger and also telephoning those affected.

A post in a support forum says customers should hear from Dell shortly. It does not provide any technical explanation of what type of spyware is included with the hardware or what extra cleaning process customers should go through.

Some forms of malware are likely to have spread if the hardware has been attached to a network.

We've put calls in to Dell UK and will update this story when we hear more.

The forum post, from yesterday morning, is here.

The forum poster was concerned not to have more technical information - and that the call he received to book technical support said the call might not happen for up to ten days.

In response a Dell support staffer said there was an issue with a small number of service motherboard stock - new PowerEdge systems are not infected. He said the malware would not infect non-Windows servers.

Update:

Dell sent us the following statement:

“Dell is aware of the issue and is contacting affected customers. The issue affects a limited number of replacement motherboards in four servers - PowerEdge R310, PowerEdge R410, PowerEdge R510 and PowerEdge T410 – and only potentially manifests itself when a customer has a specific configuration and is not running current anti-virus software.

This issue does not affect systems as shipped from our factory and is limited to replacement parts only. Dell has removed all impacted motherboards from its service supply chain and new shipping replacement stock does not contain the malware.

Customers can find more information on Dell’s community forum.” – Forrest Norrod, vice president and general manager of server platforms at Dell.

Fortunately the forum has also been updated with information which answers some of the relevant questions - the malware was found in the flash on motherboards, not in firmware. It is a W32.Spybot worm which should be detected by any decent anti-virus software.

Dell said that less than one per cent of boards shipped have the infection. Systems using an iDRAC Express or iDRAC Enterprise card will not be damaged. In fact systems will only be hit if you run an update to either Unified Server Configurator (USC) or 32-bit Diagnostics.

®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
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.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.