Asus responds to laptop hacking attack

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We’ve just heard the worrying news that over a million Asus laptops could have been hacked using the Asus Live Update Utility, and now Asus has responded acknowledging the hack, explaining the steps it is taking to address the issue and offering advice on how its customers can protect their Asus laptops.

Asus got in contact with us to explain that: “A small number of devices have been implanted with malicious code through a sophisticated attack on our Live Update servers in an attempt to target a very small and specific user group.”

As we reported yesterday, security firm Kaspersky discovered that hackers were using the Asus Live Update Utility, which is used to download and install software updates for Asus devices, and now Asus has confirmed that. It stresses that the problem only affects a ‘very small’ number of users, but the potential reach of this attack is worrying large.

Asus has promised that its “customer service has been reaching out to affected users and providing assistance to ensure that the security risks are removed.”

Fixing a hole

Asus has also explained how it has “implemented a fix in the latest version (ver. 3.6.8) of the Live Update software,” that implements “an enhanced end-to-end encryption mechanism. At the same time, we have also updated and strengthened our server-to-end-user software architecture to prevent similar attacks from happening in the future.”

It’s good to see the company taking this so seriously and working fast to release a fix and ensure it doesn’t happen again, though the fact that there was a security hole in the software it includes in all of its laptops and PCs in the first place is still troubling.

If you have an Asus laptop, make sure you have Live Update 3.6.8 installed.

Asus has also released an online security diagnostic tool that will check your system to see if it is affected, and it suggests that anyone who’s concerned should run it and contact Asus Customer Service.

Hopefully Asus’ quick response will prevent this nasty attack from spreading too far.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.