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31 August 2009, 13:52

FBI looks into laptops sent to US Governors

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Beware the unordered laptop
Beware the unordered laptop
The FBI are investigating the case of five laptops sent to the West Virginia and Wyoming Governor's offices. The HP laptops were unsolicited and no records of them being ordered existed. Other State Governor offices have been targeted with the un-ordered laptops. It has not been disclosed if the laptops in question had any malware, key-loggers or trojans, installed on them. As soon as the laptops arrived, according to the Charleston Gazette, the West Virginia Government's office notified state officials and the laptops were handed over to the them.

A similar process was followed in Vermont. Vermont's chief technology officer, Kyle Schafer, said "Our expectation is that this is not a gesture of good will. People don't just send you five laptops for no good reason". The suspicion is that the laptops could have been sent to the office by criminals hoping that they would be pressed into service and attached to the officials networks, circumventing digital security precautions. In the past, USB sticks have been "dropped" outside company buildings as bait for employees of the company who could pick the sticks up and plug them into their office computers.

Another possibility though is fraud gone wrong. One IDG report says a HP spokesperson confirmed they were aware of fraudulent government orders and were working with law enforcement on a criminal investigation.


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