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Dell Technicians Find Malicious Code on Motherboards

Dell is warning many of its customers of potential malware embedded in a set of server motherboards.

During Dell testing, technicians found that a small number of server motherboards' flash storage had been loaded with the W32.Spybot worm that may affect Windows OS systems.

According to Dell representative "DELL-Matt M" on the company's support forum, "this issue does not affect any Dell PowerEdge servers shipped from our factories and is limited to a small number of the replacement motherboards only which were sent via Dell's service and replacement process for four servers: PowerEdge R310, PowerEdge R410, PowerEdge R510 and PowerEdge T410. The maximum potential exposure is less than 1 percent of these server models."

The support rep also went on to say that customers can only be exposed to the malware if an update to the unified server configurator is installed or a 32-bit diagnostics is initiated.

Customers with the server motherboards in question have been notified in a call campaign by Dell. However, this warning only looks to be a precautionary action taken by the company. "Dell takes customer security and privacy very seriously," wrote the representative. "Although we are not aware of any reports of customer related issues, we are proactively working with customers to resolve any potential exposure."

As of today, there has been no word from Dell on a possible recall or fix for the infected motherboards. The company's statement did discuss that all standard antivirus programs should be able to spot and contain the malware from doing any damage to customers' systems.

While not a critically hazardous problem, this new security concern comes after negative publicity for Dell. Previously sealed court documents showed Dell had knowingly sold over 11 million computers with faulty motherboards and other internal components.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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