Raspberry Pi was offered money to infect millions through their mini computers
Liz Upton from the Raspberry Pi Foundation made a shocking revelation that someone had offered cash to pre-install malware on the insanely popular mini-computer, Raspberry Pi before they were shipped out.
The Foundation’s director of communications, Liz Upton revealed the photo content of an email from a “business officer” called Linda, who promised a “price per install” for a suspicious executable file. However, the name of the company represented by Linda was not disclosed.
“Amazing. This person seems to be very sincerely offering us money to install malware on your machines,” said Liz.
Amazing. This person seems to be very sincerely offering us money to install malware on your machines. pic.twitter.com/1soL0MIc5Z
— Raspberry Pi (@Raspberry_Pi) December 23, 2015
Certainly that it is not the real name as in the picture and unforeseen success of Raspberry Pi has brought them into the limelight. It wouldn’t be wrong to say Linda’s approach wasn’t exactly professional. However, the offer seems genuine, and it throws light on the dark world of paid-for malware distribution.
This situation once again raises the question regarding the necessity of hardware validation. The prospect that a persistent attacker installs malicious implants and software onto consumer devices is a serious threat.
Sometimes, there are people who are willing to pay to distribute malware, while sometimes the developer directly inserts unauthorized code in their software. However, in the majority of cases, the malware is served by a third-party with the intent to compromise end-customer’s devices.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has declined Linda’s offer, and described her company as “evildoers.” Well, the offer does not come as a surprise at all considering that an estimated $70 million the torrent piracy sites are raking in from serving malware to free media seekers.
Till now, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has sold over 5 million units of their affordable DIY computer and the number is still rising.