back to article Riddle of cash-for-malware offer in new Raspberry Pi computers

The Raspberry Pi Foundation was offered cash to smuggle malware onto its bargain-basement credit-card-size computers, we're told. Liz Upton, the Foundation's director of communications, today revealed an email from a "business officer" called Linda, who promised a "price per install" for a suspicious executable file. "Amazing …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The Pi foundation don't need to pay for malware - they do it themselves:

    Offical images

    WTF is Windows 10 doing there - and WHO in their right mind would attempt such a feat? The mind boggles.

    Here's the best - I run all my 5 Pi's on this:

    Slackware ARM on a Raspberry Pi

    1. dan1980

      Re: Malware?


      1. Ragarath

        Re: Malware?

        I think he was trying to diss Windows 10 even though this is the version designed to run on this type of hardware.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Malware?

          Also seems to have missed the statement on the Pi website that says "Third party System Images"

          1. RubberJohnny

            Re: Malware?

            This is The Register. An opportunity to be sanctimonious will always be seized.

    2. N13L5

      Re: Malware?

      First, its nothing more than an assumption that linguistically challenged Linda was offering Malware.

      By her own words, all she wanted was to install a shortcut to her website on the desktop.

      Second, it is assumed, just by her lacking English skills, that there's something shady.

      Sure, she's a perfect target for ridicule, but there's plenty of Chinese business that just don't have anyone who speaks very good English: Perfectly good product + unreadable manual

      But anything else, I'd like to see some proof before it gets turned into a headline. Should have led her to send that exe. file and check it out... Now, maybe there's be a story that's more than just gossip.

      Google filters most of these kinds of messages out for me these days, but I remember reading all sorts of things worded like that.

      1. Arthur 1

        Re: Malware?

        It's not an assumption on the part of the person who originally tweeted it and had access to the uncensored message. They could just visit the website and determine it very quickly.

        It also doesn't have to be a mystery to us. Looking at the censored pieces, you can clearly see the top of the word 'tempo' on one of the URLs and that the company name starts with a Q and ends in a k, with about a dozen letters. This is consistent with (the company behind it has the acronym QNT, not sure what it expands to). You be the judge on whether it's malware or not, I suppose.

    3. Manu T

      Re: Malware?

      "...WTF is Windows 10 doing there ...."

      That thing is not Windows as in "Windows". It has no desktop nor any end-user usable application. Not to mention that lusers "expect" their windows games and programs to run on a "Windows" system which means an X86-compatible computer. Tech savy users KNOW that there's virtually nothing for ARM-based Windows (RT) variants. Not to mention that besides the fact it can't run the normal apps associated with Windows it can't even run Windows Phone Mobile apps either.

      This is merely an OS for a developer whom want to build a garage-door opener ;-)

      IMHO I really think Microsoft should stop calling these things Windows. These OS's (including Windows Phone) don't even HAVE windows as in "a free-floating rectangle that display an application and associated content on a solid background". But then again I'm probably not the target group for Microsoft these days.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was right it is 1st April already. Either that or Christmas is bringing out all the idiots (me included)

    I do wonder if they tested the .exe in X? I'm sure that it works....

  3. Mark 85

    Cash for Malware...

    Makes me wonder if this explains some of the weird crap we see in various OS's such as <redacted>. Or add-ons.. like Flash, Java, etc.


    On second thought.. it could just be that I'm giving too much credit and overlooking sheer incompetence.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    exe file, on a Pi?

    Are the malware writers really that clueless, or is this some underworld market droid who thinks everything runs Windows on Intel hardware?

    1. JetSetJim

      Re: exe file, on a Pi?

      The Pi can run windows, there's an image you can use on their download page

      1. Graham Newton

        Re: exe file, on a Pi?

        Yes it runs Windows. Full stop. The ARM version. You can load as many exes as you like, nothing will happen unless they have been compiled for ARM. Which they probably haven't.

        I did try it and it was very painful. I have learnt the error of my ways and gone back to raspian, cos it just works.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: exe file, on a Pi?

        The Pi can run windows

        I'll repeat again…

        …or is this some underworld market droid who thinks everything runs Windows on Intel hardware?

        "Intel" as in 80386 compatibles… I challenge you to natively execute an i386 PECOFF image on the Broadcom SoC that graces the Raspberry Pi, under Linux or Windows.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: exe file, on a Pi?

          Win10IoT Core specifically. Not your average desktop.

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Email starts with 'Hello friend' - obvious spam starter. The money they would have been paid would be from a compromised Paypal account. Something similar happened to me a month ago. And no, I didn't fall for it either.

    1. RMycroft

      I wouldn't believe it unless it was a Nigerian princess.

  6. Reg Whitepaper

    Good luck with that as the Pi doesn't come with any OS. Or even any storage media!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Probably wanted them to stick it on the reference ISO somehow. As many of the users are kids and students its especially scummy.

  7. KA1AXY

    Spam, not a serious offer. Although, I'll bet they spam this out to PC integrators and get a nibble or two from those at the bottom of the barrel, I.e.: white box builders in china.

    1. mathew42

      > white box builders in china


    2. Youngone Silver badge

      White box builders in Chine is probably right, and based on the language, the offer probably came from China also.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably James Comey, trying to fake a Chinese dialect.

  9. Kanhef


    that they redacted the email. Would be nice to expose some of the people who are behind this crapware.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disappointed

      ...but then it could be someone trying to smear a competitor or similar. Publishing it as-is could backfire in a number of expensive ways.

  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    2016 the year of the Linux desktop

    Now that they have finally achieved crapware parity

  11. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge


    While some malware is relatively benign and easy to remove, others severely compromise computers – allowing them to hold files to ransom, snoop on passwords, hide within operating systems, and so on.

    Thanks for letting me know that. I was wondering what malware was.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Quortney Fortensplibe


    Merkin-glish combined with TXT-SPK. I think I've just cum!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unnnnkkk!!

      You would require genitals to accomplish that, which is something which you lack.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Unnnnkkk!!

        We dont kno dat

  13. TeeCee Gold badge


    Talking of pushing users to go to dodgy websites with highly questionable content, if you hover over the letter in the article it says; "View image on Twitter"......

  14. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Just a few MB. U can spare a few MB.

    It sounds more like a highly specialized form of malware often called shovelware. Linda probably does extensive business with cell carriers, smart TVs, and retail home computers.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure if we knew the name of the company, its a malware vendor.

    Its fairly safe to assume that they wouldn't be using the term's "malware" and "evildoers" if the company making the offer was not one whose primary business model is malware distribution.

    Considering that Dell and Lenovo have both taken money recently for pre-installed malware, its not the least big surprising that other companies are receiving offers.

    I guess the standard bloatware just isn't paying good enough anymore.

    1. sloosecannon

      > Considering that Dell and Lenovo have both taken money recently for pre-installed malware, its not the least big surprising that other companies are receiving offers.

      Err, Dell didn't take money for malware, they just did something stupid that broke security. Lenovo is a different story though.......

  16. ntevanza

    Oracle, Adobe

    Oracle and Adobe answered yes to this email. You can taste the results by downloading Flash or Java. In a VM, of course.

    Thank you, Oracle and Java for tricking our grannies into downloading the superlative Ask toolbar and sundry McAfee shitware. On behalf of your victims, fuck you, and all who sail in you.

    1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

      Re: Oracle, Adobe

      That's why I download the full redistributable versions of their products. No crapware is included in those, otherwise, they'd lose all government and corporate users.

      1. Chika

        Re: Oracle, Adobe

        That's why I download the full redistributable versions of their products. No crapware is included in those...

        Of course there's an obvious response to this but why should I deny anyone their bit of fun with picking out the glaring flaw in this argument!

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