ASUS acknowledges computers infected by auto-update virus

Hackers took over Asus updates to send malware, researchers found

Asus software hack reportedly leaves thousands of PCs exposed

Practices like these and ASUS' ignorance of any security-related issues is why the US Federal Trade Commission placed the company under mandatory security audits for the next 20 years back in 2016. Asus, one of the worst offenders among the vulnerable laptop makers, was guilty of not even using HTTPS encryption or signing or validating their software updates.

Logos of Taiwanese multinational computer hardware and electronics company Asus are seen during the annual Computex computer exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan June 1, 2016. The compromised utility was created to snoop on roughly 600 targets, identified by network MAC addresses hardcoded in the binary.

Taiwanese electronics firm Asus unknowingly pushed malware to thousands of computers after one of its servers was hacked a year ago, potentially affecting more than one million people, Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said.

The hackers were surgically targeting an unknown pool of users, who were identified by their network adapters' MAC addresses.

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"Based on our statistics, over 57,000 Kaspersky users have downloaded and installed the backdoored version of Asus Live Update at some point in time", Kaspersky's breakdown of ShadowHammer explained.

Asus confirmed today that its Live Update utility has been indeed infected with malicious code by an advanced persistent threat (APT) group as part of a supply chain attack which managed to compromise some of its servers. The company estimates that around a million users may have been affected by what it describes as "one of the biggest supply-chain incidents ever".

KitGuru Says: While this isn't an attack that targeted consumers directly, if you have the ASUS Live Update tool installed, be sure to update to the latest version to be safe.

A major cybersecurity threat affecting ASUS devices has been uncovered by researchers over at Kaspersky Lab.

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If you're an ASUS user and you have any further questions or concerns, ASUS say to please contact their customer service team. The malicious updaters were hosted on the official liveupdate01s.asus [.] com and liveupdate01.asus [.] com ASUS update servers.

Malware can arrive on your devices in a lot of ways - downloading a file from an email, opening a PDF you shouldn't have or browser-based attacks.

"They were not trying to target as many users as possible", Kamluk continues.

"We were able to extract more than 600 unique MAC addresses from over 200 samples used in this attack".

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