Dell Keylogs As We Blanche


We won’t pretend to be technosavvy enough to know if this is a valid interpretation of looking at a Dell laptop’s still steaming bowels, but it bodes ill: according to this page, the Dell 600m laptop has a keylogger built into the hardware.

    What could this mean? I called Dell tech support about it, and they said, and I quote, “The integrated service tag identifier is there for assisting customers in the event of lost or misplaced personal information.” He then hung up.

    A little more research, and I found that that board spliced in between the keyboard and the ethernet chip is little more than a Keyghost hardware keylogger.

    The reasons Dell would put this in their laptops can only be left up to your imagination. It would be very impractical to hand-analyze the logs, and very CPU-intensive to do so on a computer for every person that purchased a dell laptop.

The author was referred to Homeland Security: they claimed the records were exempt from being disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act. Doubtlessly under their ‘Constitutionally Inconvenient’ provision. Hey, terrorists! Oh, and everyone else! You might want to stop plotting your insurgencies on Dells.

Edit: D’oh! This is much ado about nothing. Snopes debunks. Thanks, James!

Keylogger Built Into Dell 600m [] (Thanks, Mary!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. PanicRoom says:

    Ah, I love it! First the State Department accuses Lenovo of being an arm of Chinese intelligence ( and then Dell turns out (allegedly) to be the one with the keyloggers. But maybe these chips are just the detonators that are setting all those Dells on fire if you type in a suspicious string of words (North Korea, Bush and mature Texan cowboy porn).

  2. One day, that picture of mine will have appeared on every Web site in the whole world.

  3. thrillhouse says:

    Can you guys try not to be so “old media” and maybe look into these posts a bit prior to smearing someone? Don’t pull a Dan Rather.

  4. ADM says:

    Maybe you guys should put a strike-through the whole post, or put the update at the top, or put “UPDATED” in the headline or something, and update the “if teh keylogging story turns out to be true” in your other post on Dell today.

    ps. Thrillhouse’s idea that new media (blogs, apparently) are better at fact-checking than old media is funny to me. Was s/he being serious? On nearly every blog, including most Gawker blogs, the word “facts” and “reporting” are always followed by a half-joke like, “picking up the phone to check this out would be too much work, so here it is…” cf.

    I do appreciate that you guys have made an effort on verifying some things though, such as the AOL retention manual.

  5. steinwaytony says:

    LMAO; Consumerist’s alarmism at its best.

    Over a year old, too, according to Snopes.

    Go to your room, PanicRoom.

  6. thrillhouse says:

    yeah, ADM, those jokes about fact checking are usually surrounding specs on a gadget or something not worth spending 2 minutes on. This key logging crap is not only very old, but also a total hoax. And, yeah, their “update” was quite shite.

    Its not that blogs are better at fact checking than other media. They all suck at it. The AOL stuff earned Consumerist a tad bit of creadibility, but stuff like this flushes it town the interweb tubes.