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Samsung cleared of planting keylogger spyware

False alarm caused by antivirus program error

Samsung Electronics' laptops do not contain a secret program that logs keystrokes, security researchers have found, chalking up the problem to a mistake by an antivirus program.

An IT consultant based in Toronto, Mohamed Hassan, said he bought a Samsung R525 and later an R540 laptop, and on both found the StarLogger program made by a company called de Willebois Consulting. StarLogger can log all keystrokes and capture screenshots.

But Samsung and the security company F-Secure did further research and found that the VIPRE antivirus software mistakenly associated a Windows root directory folder called "SL" with StarLogger.

In a statement on its website, Samsung said the SL folder is a Microsoft Live Application folder for multi-language support. The "SL" stands for the Slovenian language, and other folders are installed depending on language, such as "KO" for Korean and "EN" for English.

"Our findings indicate that the person mentioned in the article used a security program called VIPRE that mistook a folder created by Microsoft's Live Application for a key logging software, during a virus scan," Samsung said.

F-Secure bought and tested a series of Samsung laptops - the R540, RF710, QX310, SF510, X125 and NF310 - and didn't find StarLogger.

GFI Software, which makes VIPRE, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Security Advisor


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