Chinese Trojan Horse

No, this isn’t about ancient Greek Literature or ancient Chinese proverbs, which seem for some reason to favor horses.

Try this on for a scary story. 

Scary: Trojan Horse Hidden in New Maxtor Hard Drive Transfers Datas Automatically to China

Posted by chinaview on November 12th, 2007

By Yang Kuo-wen, Lin Ching-chuan and Rich Chang, Taipei Times, Sunday, Nov 11, 2007-

Portable hard discs sold locally and produced by US disk-drive manufacturer Seagate Technology have been found to carry Trojan horse viruses that automatically upload to Beijing Web sites anything the computer user saves on the hard disc, the Investigation Bureau said.

Around 1,800 of the portable Maxtor hard discs, produced in Thailand, carried two Trojan horse viruses: autorun.inf and ghost.pif, the bureau under the Ministry of Justice said.

The tainted portable hard disc uploads any information saved on the computer automatically and without the owner’s knowledge to and, the bureau said.

The affected hard discs are Maxtor Basics 500G discs.

The bureau said that hard discs with such a large capacity are usually used by government agencies to store databases and other information.

Sensitive information may have already been intercepted by Beijing through the two Web sites, the bureau said.

The bureau said that the method of attack was unusual, adding that it suspected Chinese authorities were involved.

In recent years, the Chinese government has run an aggressive spying program relying on information technology and the Internet, the bureau said.

The bureau said this was the first time it had found that Trojan horse viruses had been placed on hard discs before they even reach the market.

The bureau said that it had instructed the product’s Taiwanese distributor, Xander International, to remove the products from shelves immediately.

The bureau said that it first received complaints from consumers last month, saying they had detected Trojan horse viruses on brand new hard discs purchased in Taiwan.

Agents began examining hard discs on the market and found the viruses linked to the two Web sites.

Anyone who has purchased this kind of hard disc should return it to the place of purchase, the bureau said.

The distributor told the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) that the company had sold 1,800 tainted discs to stores last month.

It said it had pulled 1,500 discs from shelves, while the remaining 300 had been sold by the stores to consumers.

Seagate’s Asian Pacific branch said it was looking into the matter.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Vincenzo says:

    “That’s the way your hard-core commie works.” – Gen. Ripper

  2. Tim H says:

    Reminds me of the “Spy Rocks” built by the British to do e-spying on the Russian Embassy in London (discovered when Embassy employees noticed someone messing with an apparently malfunctioning rock outside the embassy, or the 60+ listening devices the Chinese found in a newly-ordered Presidential jet from Boeing back in 2000 (discovered when the devices created strange background noise in the brand-new avionics).

  3. .inf and .pif files store information and parameters for programs. They are not themselves executable. Files named autorun.inf are among the files in the installation package for various programs, including, e.g., Microsoft Office 2003. One needs more information than what was given to get any idea of what was going on.

  4. Diane K says:

    Yikes, I came close to buying a 500G Maxtor!

    Thank you sweet Jesus that I didn’t have the funds and walked away!

  5. LCB says:

    Why, if I didn’t know better, I’d think the Chinese were ought to dominate and destroy the USA. Good thing they love freedom as much as we do, and are more interested in celebrating multi-culturalism and diversity than in self preservation.

    Hey wait a second…

  6. Federico says:

    Official Seagate/Maxtor information: is available here.

  7. Uh… doesn’t *everyone* format a new hard drive and run health diagnostics on it before using it for data? How else can you be sure the thing is actually going to work? The operative rule for computer hardware is “expect what you can inspect.”

  8. Tim H says:

    Well now it seems instead of domination and destruction, they just want our online game passwords

Comments are closed.