US office supply retail store Office Depot is in the news this week as the store reportedly deceived customers by falsely diagnosing computers as malware-infected. The store offers a "PC Health Check" service but a whistleblower employee claims the program takes advantage of customers by pressuring them into buying protection plans as well as other services.
KIRO-TV investigated the claim by taking six brand new PCs to various Office Depot locations in Washington and Oregon. Despite these PCs being 100 percent clean, as confirmed by independent security firm IOActive, the Office Depot technicians claimed 4 out of 6 of the computers showed signs of malware:
To investigate these claims, KIRO-TV took six computers in various Office Depot stores located in Washington and Oregon to have them examined in PC Health Checks. After the tests, the technicians determined that 4 out of 6 of the computers were showing signs of malware. After this, they attempted to sell protection services to the customer, which cost $199.99.
The only problem? The PCs used were fresh out of the box. Another test ran by an independent security firm, IOActive, didn't find any signs of malware on the six computers used.