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[Laptops]
Wednesday 17th September 2008
Asus ships software cracker on recovery DVD 1:16PM, Wednesday 17th September 2008
Asus is accidentally shipping software crackers and confidential documents on the recovery DVDs that come with its laptops.

The startling discovery was made by a PC Pro reader whose antivirus software was triggered by a key cracker for the WinRAR compression software, which was located on the recovery DVD for his Asus laptop.

He discovered a number of other suspicious files, including:

* A directory called "Crack" that appears to contain serial numbers for other software packages

* A directory containing a large number of confidential Microsoft documents for PC manufacturers, including associated keys and program files

* Various internal Asus documents and source code for Asus software

The reader sent the disc to PC Pro, and we can confirm the existence of such files.

The key cracker is found in the WinRAR application folder on the recovery disc and is credited to "Freddy Cruger".

One of the confidential Asus documents includes a PowerPoint presentation that details "major problems" identified by the company, including application compatibility issues.

Personal files

Our reader isn't the only one to discover strange files on Asus recovery discs. A US poster on the Asus forums reports finding files including CVs on his recovery disc - <
 
 
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click here to see a screengrab of the files
.

A contributor to the forums at the Australian APC magazine also reports finding the same software cracker as our reader.

Asus has blamed internal quality control for the error. "We are aware of the inadvertent release of information on the recovery DVD," the company claims in a statement.

"Our internal checking procedure has caught and corrected this error at the time of occurrence. The scope of the problem is limited and it does not affect the performance and quality of our products.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused and replacement recovery DVDs are available for exchange via our local customer service centre."

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