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ASUS Live Update tool hack: ASUS responds

By Vijay Anand - on 27 Mar 2019, 10:40am

ASUS Live Update tool hack: ASUS responds

As reported earlier, the update utility installed on most ASUS computers, ASUS Live Update tool has been used by hackers to distribute malware to target Windows machines. This sophisticated supply chain attack, Operation ShadowHammer, took place between June and November 2018, and infected over 57,000 of Kaspersky Lab customers.

Unfortunately, this breach has been classified as an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT), which are national-level attacks initiated by specific countries targeting certain international organizations or entities instead of general consumers.

ASUS Live Update is a proprietary tool supplied with ASUS notebook computers to ensure that the system always benefits from the latest drivers and firmware from ASUS. A small number of devices have been implanted with malicious code through a sophisticated attack on ASUS Live Update servers in an attempt to target a very small and specific user group. ASUS customer service has been reaching out to affected users and providing assistance to ensure that the security risks are removed.

ASUS has also implemented a fix in the latest version (ver. 3.6.8) of the Live Update software, introduced multiple security verification mechanisms to prevent any malicious manipulation in the form of software updates or other means, and implemented an enhanced end-to-end encryption mechanism. At the same time, we have also updated and strengthened our server-to-end-user software architecture to prevent similar attacks from happening in the future.

Additionally, ASUS has created an online security diagnostic tool to check for affected systems, and they encourage users who are still concerned to run it as a precaution. The tool can be found here: https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/nb/Apps_for_Win10/ASUSDiagnosticTool/ASDT_v1.0.1.0.zip

ASUS also encourages all users to upgrade to the latest version of ASUS Live Update (ver. 3.6.8) by following its instructions here. There are also pointers on how to check the version of the utility.

Users who have any additional concerns can contact ASUS Customer Service.

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