A leading security researcher has accused Samsung of preloading key-logging software on its latest laptop lines.
Mohamed Hassan, founder of NetSec Consulting, bought a new Samsung laptop earlier this month to replace an existing system.
When he ran his own security software on the laptop, however, it picked up StarLogger key-logging software, which automatically booted as soon as the laptop was switched on.
"Whenever I buy a laptop I always do a scan on it," her told V3.co.uk. "I don't trust all the software manufacturers put on their machines not to do things I don't want."
Hassan explained that, when he found the software, he checked his results and bought a second Samsung laptop from a competing retailer only to find the same key-logging software installed.
When he approached Samsung about the issue the initial technical support response was that this was a Microsoft problem since Samsung only produced the hardware but, since the key-logger would have had to be installed at the firmware level, this seemed unlikely.
"Next call I got a supervisor who, after trying the same argument, nonchalantly told me that all computer manufacturers put such key-logging software on their systems to monitor user behavior and told me not to worry about it," he said.
Hassan said he contacted several representatives at Samsung about the issue, and gave them over a week's notice before publishing his account.
"Samsung takes Mr. Hassan's claims very seriously," a Samsung spokeperson told V3.co.uk in a statement.
"After learning of the original post this morning we launched an internal investigation into this issue. We will provide further information as soon as it is available."
UPDATE: The claims made by Hassan have been proven to be false, as our follow-up story reveals.
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