Samsung Spyware Investigation

by John Fabry

Bailey & Galyen is investigating the claim that Samsung Electronics has been unlawfully including spyware on laptop computers that it sells. New Samsung laptop computers have been reported to come with Starlogger software that monitors keystrokes and captures screen shots at predetermined intervals. Both the keystrokes and screen shots can be secretly e-mailed to designated addresses, which could allow Samsung to spy on its own customers.

One report states that you can determine whether you have Starlogger on your Samsung computer by looking for its registry key, which is used to load it when Windows is started. To see if this has occurred, open a command prompt and type “Run Regedit.” Then go to the Menu bar, select Edit, then Find. You want to search for “winsl,” without the quotes. If it’s installed you should see a registry key that looks like this:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\run\winsl

Samsung Electronics issued a statement March 31, 2011, that the finding is false. The statement says the software used to detect the keylogger, VIPRE, can be fooled by Microsoft’s live application multi-language support folder. However, Samsung has not provided any explanation of why it was originally reported to have confirmed the installation of the keylogger to monitor customer activity.

If you would like to discuss your rights and interests, or have information relating to this investigation, please contact John Fabry at Bailey & Galyen’s Houston office at (281) 335-7744 or by e-mail at jfabry@galyen.com.

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