Like patients who enter the hospital for a simple tonsillectomy and end up leaving with pneumonia, it seems like customers seeking help from Dell’s service parts department may have made things worse for themselves, while trying to make things better. The company admits it may have sent out a number of motherboards with malware lurking within their firmware.
According to Dell itself, the infection affects only a “small number” of motherboards, which were sent out through service dispatches. The malware in question has shown up on the embedded server management firmware on the PowerEdge motherboards.
“To date we have received no customer reports related to data security,” a Dell representative said on the company’s own support forums. “Systems running non-Windows operating systems are not vulnerable to this malware and this issue is not present on motherboards shipped new with PowerEdge systems.”
Since all the boards were sent out through service dispatches, Dell apparently has a list of customer e-mails and will be contacting owners of potentially infected boards directly. Since the issue has been limited to the company’s enterprise-level PowerEdge servers, consumers have nothing to worry about.