FBI fears free laptops could be malware scam

Beware geeks offering gifts.

Malware authors may have found a new way to skirt firewalls – send some pre-infected laptops in the post.

That’s the fear of the FBI which is investigating the despatch of laptops to US state governors. Five HP laptops were sent to West Virginia Governor Joe Mahchin a few weeks ago.  According to sources familiar with the investigation, other states have been targeted too, with HP laptops mysteriously ordered for officials in 10 states. Four of the orders were delivered, while the remaining six were intercepted.

The West Virginia laptops were delivered to the governor’s office several weeks ago, prompting state officials to contact police, according to Kyle Schafer, the state’s chief technology officer. "We were notified by the governor’s office that they had received the laptops and they had not ordered them," he said. "We checked our records and we had not ordered them."


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