Malware Manifests on "Small Number" of Dell Server Boards

Like a hitchhiker from hell, malware doesn't care where it catches a ride from, just as long as it reaches its destination. We've seen USB thumb drives come with infectious files buried inside, digital picture frames containing malicious content, and even compromised driver discs straight from the factory. But if ever there was an argument in favor of running AV software, it's that malware can even come embedded on motherboards, as some Dell PowerEdge customers are finding out.

In a forum post on Dell's support site, a Dell representative confirmed that a "small number" of PowerEdge 410 boards might be infected, as well as some R310, R510, and T410 boards.

"As part of Dell's quality process, we have identified a potential issue with our service motherboard stock, like the one you received for your PowerEdge R410, and are taking preventative action with our customers accordingly," a Dell rep wrote in response to a customer inquiry. "The potential issue involves a small number of PowerEdge server motherboards sent out through service dispatches that may contain malware. This malware code has been detected on the embedded server management firmware as you indicated."

Scary stuff, though in this particular case, the Dell rep went on to say that "we have received no customer reports related to data security." He also said that the issue, which only affects Windows-based systems, is "not present on motherboards shipped new with PowerEdge systems."

According to Dell, the maximum potential exposure is less than 1 percent of the above listed server boards, and that all impacted motherboards have been removed from the replacement supply line. And that AV recommendation we touched on earlier?

"All industry-standard antivirus programs on the market today have the ability to identify and prevent the code [W.Spybot worm] from infecting the customer's operating system," Dell said.
Via:  Dell
lonewolf 4 years ago

Poor Dell, caught up in the FTC mess and now this, not looking good from a PR standpoint.

acarzt 4 years ago

lol.... just what Dell needs... more problems with their Products lol

They're gonna start losing customers really fast if this keeps up.

ClemSnide 4 years ago

They're going to START losing customers? I think you may be predicting the past there.

At the most recent Trenton Computerfest, there were huge numbers of Optiplexes (Optipleces?) in a variety of model numbers at the flea market. "All you have to do is replace the capacitors," said the vendors, which begged the question "if it's so easy, why didn't you already do it and sell it as a working system?"

acarzt 4 years ago

uhhhh replacing capacitors would not be something a consumer could do. I can't even replace capacitors lol

xylem 4 years ago

Dell have been in the NEWS forever.. I think its like "GUD or BAD, be in the news" Stick out tongue

digitaldd 4 years ago

lets see now remote management firmware infested on under 1% of the motherbaords that were replaced.

realneil 4 years ago

I think that they're a target. A big, fat, shiny target of opportunity.

As VAN HALEN sings,......"Everybody Want's Some!"

acarzt 4 years ago

lol Yea, dell needs to do something like donate a bunch of computers to some children in need or something so they can get some good PR lol

Just make sure they work and they don't burn down the poor kids' homes Indifferent

Nethersprite 4 years ago

Kill two birds with one stone and give the infected computers to the kids. :P

One question to ask is: how could computers straight from the factory be infected with malware? And at the firmware level too?

acarzt 4 years ago

Possibly a disgruntled emplyee... Also if the firmware was stored on a computer that was infrected with the worm. And they didn't scan the file and uploaded it to the firmware.

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