Gaming mouse-maker Razer hit with infected firmware

Takes down support site after a Trojan is found in driver downloads

Gamers trying to update their mouse or keyboard drivers from accessory maker Razer USA's Web site recently may have gotten more than they bargained for.

That's because the company's computers appear to have been hacked, and its support site used to spread malicious Trojan horse programs, according to Rik Ferguson, a researcher with Trend Micro. After hearing comments from concerned customers, Trend researchers took a look at Razer's drivers. They downloaded 8 infected drivers, and immediately contacted Razer. "They immediately took the site offline," he said in an instant message interview.

Customers who downloaded this software would get the drivers they requested, but they also got an obscure Trojan program called WORM.ASPXOR.AB. "The malware had very low detection rates, with only 7 out of 41 vendors offering generic detection," Ferguson said.

To make matters worse, gamers often turn off their antivirus protection to speed up their gameplay, so some victims may have never had a chance of catching the Trojan.

Based on the complaints, Ferguson believes that the malicious Trojans were probably available on Razer's Web site for just a few days.

Company spokesman Heathcliff Hatcher couldn't say exactly what had happened to cause the infected downloads. But he said that his company was working with Trend Micro to investigate the issue. The company's main Web site was still active Monday afternoon, but its support site had been taken offline. Visitors were greeted with the message, "Woops. We had to bring down Razer Support for the time being for a quick fix."

Based in Carlsbad, California, Razer makes cool-looking accessories such as mice and keyboards designed to give customers and edge when they play PC games.

The company is just the latest in a growing list of hardware makers who have been duped into infecting their own customers. Three years ago, Apple shipped a small number of video iPods infected with a virus. Apple blamed the issue on an infected Windows machine, used to test the devices before they were shipped. Hard drive maker Seagate and computer retailer Best Buy have also shipped infected products in the past few years.

Ferguson couldn't say whether Razer's Web site had been hacked or if the security breach had occurred on other company systems. "It's impossible to know," he said.

Razer customers who think they may have been infected can try Trend'sfree House Call service to see if they've been hit.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags gaming newsmouseRazertrojan

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?