Laptops given to British schoolkids came preloaded with malware and talked to Russia when booted

The Register

A shipment of laptops supplied to British schoolkids by the Department for Education to help them learn under lockdown came preloaded with malware, The Register can reveal.

The affected laptops, supplied to schools under the government’s Get Help With Technology (GHWT) scheme, which started last year, came bundled with the Gamarue malware – an old remote access worm from the 2010s.

The Register understands that a batch of 23,000 computers, the GeoBook 1E running Windows 10, made by Shenzhen-headquartered Tactus Group, contained the units that were loaded with malware.

These devices have shipped over the past three to four weeks, though it is unclear how many of them are infected. It is believed the devices were imaged at factory level.

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