This Feb 23, 2019, photo shows the inside of a computer with the ASUS logo in Jersey City, N.J. Security researchers say hackers infected tens of thousands of computers from the Taiwanese vendor ASUS with malicious software for months last year through the company’s online automatic update service. Kaspersky Labs said Monday, March 25, that the exploit likely affected more than 1 million computers from the world’s No. 5 computer company, though it was designed to surgically install a backdoor in a much smaller number of PCs. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

ASUS acknowledges computers infected by auto-update virus

March 26, 2019 - 10:05 am

BOSTON (AP) — The Taiwanese computer company ASUS is acknowledging that suspected nation-state hackers planted malware on its online automatic update service in a sophisticated and targeted espionage operation.

Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab disclosed Monday that hackers infected tens of thousands of ASUS computers last year in the scheme. Kaspersky said it detected 57,000 infections among customers of its antivirus software. It estimated the exploit likely affected more than 1 million computers.

The malware was designed to open a "backdoor" for intruders in infected machines.

ASUS said in a prepared statement that the malware infected a small number of devices in an attempt to target a very small, specific user group. It did not specify how many or who.

The world's No. 5 computer company said it fixed the compromised updating software.

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