British schoolkids issued laptops conveniently pre-loaded with malware that connects with Russian servers

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I swear that the US, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland are the only predominantly english speaking countries that knows how the internet work going by the stories I constantly hear about the UK and Australia.


Connected to this?

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That’s intriguing enough to make me ask whether you could expand on that?

So the next $64 question is how the malware came to be preloaded onto the laptops? Accident, carelessness, or ???


Some Russian oligarch Tory crony who secured the contract with a nice bribe, perhaps?


Doesn’t it go without saying that they detected and removed the malware in all cases where they knew about the malware? That statement needs to be replaced by one saying that all the other laptops handed out have since been checked for the presence of malware

Not Russian - but oh so much crony.


For starters

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You are right, that is disastrous. s/

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Given the comparatively low value of the targets and the fact that it was picked up on by the recipients (frequently heroic in terms of amount of making-do per dollar, generally not renowned for their leading edge detection and incident response capabilities) I’d guess some combination of accident and carelessness. That combination suggests malware already well known enough to be old news even to AV vendors and minimal targeting; which isn’t what malware professionals who care tend to do.

If you let whatever infrastructure you use for building images and slapping them onto new systems get compromised it’s pretty easy to end up passing on a free copy of whatever you got to everything you prep. It crops up sometimes with other, similar, products from time to time; batches of little LCD picture frames shipping with flash drive malware because production line systems were infected, that sort of thing.

Because it’s so obvious that what you are going to load on a lot of computers really matters it’s not a good look to be anything other than scrupulously paranoid about the process; but that doesn’t mean everyone bothers.

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Well, I know the UK government sucks at the interwebs (although I hadn’t seen that particular example, so thanks) and the Aussies obviously have their little problem with the basic facts of mathematics, I was more wondering what made the US, Canada or Ireland so much better.

The three countries going to hell in a hand basket have all contracted a nasty case of ‘The Murdochs’: symptoms of which include an ill-informed public, populist politicians in the pay of unaccountable (often foreign) media barons and their publications that thrive on a heady mix of lies, sensationalism, prurience and good old-fashioned racism.


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