Spyware Helps Lexmark Monitor Users

Lexmark International, Inc. reportedly acknowledged installing tracking software (aka spyware) that reports printing and scanning activity, as well as consumables use, to a database managed at a cryptic domain, registered by the Lexington, Kentucky-based company. The DLL (dynamic link library) file located in the computer’s c:\program files\lexmark500 folder tracks and reports printing use to http://www.lxkcc1.com/.


Reports of the spyware initially surfaced in the comp.periphs.printers Usenet newsgroup, and many details are still forthcoming; however, at least one confirmation from Lexmark has been reported. Although Lexmark denies the usage data is collected for any purpose other than a routine survey, the spyware can easily correlate the usage and registration data to allow a more detailed and personal tracking of a user’s printing and scanning behavior.

Dave’s Opinion
A quick search of the Usenet newsgroups turned up many unconfirmed reports of Lexmark spyware, going back a few years. I will keep an eye out for more details. It’s quite possible for a printer/scanner manufacturer to install data-recording software for survey purposes along with the peripheral’s driver; however, doing so without clear and open acknowledgement to the user seems a bit covert, and that’s one of the defining characteristics of spyware.

If you learn of any confirmed and reliable updates, please let me know.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.

References
Lexmark International, Inc.

 

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