AntiOnline Security Spotlight: CD-Wrecker
Truth be told, as security-minded admins and computer users we concern ourselves more with the threats posed by Internet borne bugs and hackers in far away places than we do about the physical threats to our systems.
Even so, we rely on security systems, cable locks and good old common sense to keep PCs from theft, unauthorized access and physical damage. All well and good but despite all of these precautions, harm can come to your PC in unexpected ways. And by unexpected, we mean a seemingly innocent Mandrake Linux 9.2 install.
"Linux?! Surely not," you may be thinking. Indeed, this sad tale doesn't even have a Microsoft angle. No, this time around the threat comes in the form of a plain old hardware incompatibility.
Mandrake Linux 9.2 just does not play well with LG Electronics CD-ROM drives. This is not a case of flaky drivers; the problematic distro can actually cause the affected drives to literally stop working. It can be argued that the OS isn't entirely to blame since the drives seem to stray somewhat from industry specs.
True, you may not remember the last time you even saw an LG-branded product, let alone put one into your box. Nonetheless, can you be 100% sure that your CD drive's innards aren't from LG? It turns out that LG is an OEM supplier to computer makers such as Dell.
No need to panic. Even if one falls victim to this bug, CD drives are relatively inexpensive these days. Still, it may be better to hold off on larger Mandrake deployments until everything is in order.
Note: The opinions expressed below are solely those of the individual posters on the AntiOnline forums.
Direct link to this week's spotlight thread:
Syini666 has some bad news for those considering a Mandrake install.
It seems Mandrake 9.2 kills LG based cd drives upon attempting the install process, and a reboot shows the drive to be completely dead. Here is a direct quote from the Mandrake Errata Page quote:Ouch! Surely, there must be a solution, right?
Solution: Currently there is no solution or work-around for this issue; it is still under investigation. Damage occurs even when doing a network install. At this point, please do not install Mandrake Linux 9.2 on any computer containing a LG-based CD-ROM drive or it will damage your CD-ROM drive! We are actively looking for a solution to this problem.The ever-vigilant MsMittens, gets to the bottom of things with this update:
Well.. Here it is. The final decision on what the cause was from Mandrake's Errata Site:Can your CD-ROM be affected? Join the discussion and be sure to view the list of hardware that can fall victim to Mandrake 9.2.
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