back to article Aussie ALDI withdraws infected greybox offering

The Australian branch of supermarket chain ALDI has withdrawn a range of hard drives from its stores following the discovery that the hardware was infected with malware. The affected device – a grey-label external 4-in-1 hard drive, DVD, USB and card reader device – has reportedly been pulled from shelves, though it is still …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like an interesting piece of kit

    Looks like an interesting piece of kit to complement a netbook, or one of the new driveless Apple MacBooks.

    Combined with a decent virus checker would be tempted to purchase.....

    1. Tim Walker

      +1 to that

      As a netbook user, I wouldn't mind one of these combo boxes, esp. if they come in a flavour with a 500GB hard drive (and present no probs for Linux).

      Can't find one at Amazon - anyone know of a UK reseller which stocks these babies?

      1. John Dougald McCallum


        Aldi sell alot of Tevion brand consummer goods so it may be that is who makes this

        1. Tim Walker

          Found something similar at Amazon UK

          Clearly I didn't look hard enough last time :-)

          It packs the DVD writer, USB hub and multi-card-reader; only difference seems to be that the hard-drive part is a "caddy" (i.e. you have to source your own 2.5" SATA drive). I've seen 500GB 2.5" SATA disks for about £30 on Amazon, so an all-in-one USB storage hub (in both senses of the latter word) for £70 looks very appealing.

          Of course, I have no idea how well-built this box is, and/or how it exposes all those USB mass storage devices to the connected computer, but I'm tempted to take a punt on this one sometime... at least I'd have some control over the origin of the HD :-)

  2. Anonymous Coward

    First thing I do with a disk...

    fdisk /dev/sdc ; mke4fs /dev/sdc1

    Who doesn't reformat their media first thing? Who's operating system would be so daft as to autorun a program on media just because it got plugged in?

  3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Quality Control

    Surely if you have a hard drive in something QC should do tests including AV checks.

  4. John Tserkezis

    @First thing I do with a disk...

    Who doesn't format external drives and disable autorun? Everyone.

    Well, nearly everyone anyway.

    As a matter of course, I do all that, AND I knobble my USB drives so an autorun.inf can't be created just in case I plug into an already infected box. (so I don't further infect anyone in case I don't notice).

    When I disable autorun on client's machines, they scream blue bloody murder.

    I tell them I did that because they infected my USB drive, (before cleaning off their infection).

    They say it's impossible because they have a virus checker installed.

    No wonder I resort to the "I don't know, I just work here" philosophy.

    1. Tim Bates

      Write Protect switch

      We have a batch of USB sticks at work that have a write protect switch. Took us AGES to find some, but we use them both to stop client PCs infecting our sticks and also to prevent client AV software from deleting all our tools we keep on them (mailpassview, some malware removal tools that look suspect to some AVs, etc).

      It should be a law that all USB sticks have these switches - 90% of the time when people plug a stick in it's only to read from it anyway.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Congratulations to all you @First thing I do with a disk...

    But look, this is a CONSUMER device sold in a SUPERMARKET FFS

    The users will be in two camps:

    1 - The geek who gets a cheap external drive and knows full well the dangers

    2 - The normal user who sees a bargain and just plugs it in and expects it to work.

    So while you can self congratulate all you like, the "avergae" home user buying this stuff from ALDI will just plug it in and trust everything will be OK

    1. Anonymous Coward


      This follows the Fission-braded 8GB USB drives, that in reality only stored 1GB or less. Aldi have been selling a lot of dodgy computer kit lately.

      In the case of these flash drives, people buy them, load lots of data on them, then wonder why the data reads back corrupt.

      In the case of these drives, they'll plug them in and whamo, they're infected.

      While yes, the user should format all disks before use, as a matter of course, a lot won't.

  6. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Remember the recent case of a mouse that was rigged to hack a PC

    Should we assume that the hardware/firmware is good and there is merely bad software copied onto the storage device? Maybe not.

    This device already does a lot of things when you plug it in.

  7. LittleTyke

    Aldi is fine for most goods though

    I buy loads of food and cleaning products from Aldi, but I wouldn't touch the expensive electronic gear. I did buy the radio-controlled digital clock a couple of years ago, but it was only £4.99, so no worries if it went wrong. It's actually still working! Hard drives I buy only from Amazon or Misco.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Comes with free software


  9. Rob Daglish Bronze badge

    @David D. Hagood

    Surely that's silly to format a perfectly good hard drive every time you buy a new one...wouldn't you be better off doing it to the new drive ;)

  10. Anonymous Coward

    It makes you wonder

    Why they don't ship removable disks unformatted anymore(*1).

    Back in the old days, the first thing we have to do when we take a new floppy out of the box was to format it. Attempting to use the disk as-is would yield an error about the disk being unreadable. And god help you if your machine had only one floppy drive, and you issued the init or format command and /forgot/ to change the disks before pressing enter or return.

    (*1) okay, so you still have to format rewritable optical media if you're going to use it as a Mount Rainier removable disk or something similar. But for flash media and removable hard disks, they're usually pre-formatted, and more irritatingly, sometimes ship with utilities, or even worse, some sort of stupid flash movie that advertises the advantage of the drive, already on the drive.

  11. Hans 1

    False Positive?

    This is most likely a false positive funny nobody realised it as it is not the first time this happens to Medion/Aldi. The other more interesting question is, why does malware protection software write to the MBR!!!!

    [ from ]

    In 2007, a batch of Medion laptops sold through Aldi chain were found to have the Stoned.Angelina virus already present on the preinstalled Windows Vista operating system.[8]

    Medion disseminated a press release explaining that Angelina virus was not really present in the laptops but the problem was about a pre-installed malware protection software (Bullguard) having a bug that gives an alert reporting the presence of the virus. The bug can be corrected via a patch released by Medion itself.

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