Feeds

Dell warns on spyware infected server motherboards

Windows snoopware buried in server firmware

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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.

®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.