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GIGABYTE employee victim of hacking or AMD product leak prank?

Supposedly said to have leaked upcoming AMD CPU details

By Cameron Wilmot from May 10, 2011 @ 4:51 CDT

We all know hacking is a fact of life, be it for good or bad. However, I don't think the topic of this news relates all that much to hacking.

Colin Brix is a manager at GIGABYTE headquarters here in Taipei and someone I have worked with as a contact for product samples and tech questions for many years. From the information we have seen so far, he seems to be the victim of a fairly serious prank today and one that the Taiwanese motherboard maker is taking very seriously.

A website by the name of Rumor Pedia claimed to be have sent a screenshot by someone named Kirllos who managed to 'infiltrate' GIGABYTE's internal work network using "mega-d botnet". Mind you, this bot was disabled by security company FireEye back on November 6, 2009, according to sources on Wikipedia. This screenshot is filled with a vast amount of inconsistencies relating to 'leaked' details about an upcoming processor from AMD. It also showed benchmarks using popular tests such as Super PI and others. This type of leak by a company employee tends to have very serious consequences, as you can imagine.


The screenshot includes an apparent MSN Messenger chat window with Colin and Alain Sam Lai, an engineer at GIGABYTE. The big issue though is that the details in the MSN chat window are incorrect (read: faked) ranging from his display name, email and even the picture. On first learning of this issue directly from Colin, it turned out our own MSN chat window would come in handy, as you can see above. The fake chat window is on the left and our recent (real) chat window is on the right. Some details have been blanked out intentionally for our own privacy. It is clear that someone or some company or group is out to personally attacked Colin and try and get him into some serious trouble. Besides the personal errors in the screenshot, some specific tech details are also off the mark. For instance, GIGABYTE would include an "A" in the motherboard model name and GIGABYTE does not use UEFI BIOS, they use Hybrid EFI.

This is a clear attempt to either draw a lot of traffic with leaked product information to where it was first posted without any consideration of what might happen or someone who has something against Colin and is trying to attack him. I would lean towards the second option as for starters they know what Colin looks like, they know who his boss is and they even mentioned a popular tourist spot in Taiwan that Colin visits.

While this is not the usual type of tech news you expect from us, we thought it was well worth discussing here. I'm not sure about you, but I'd be unsettled by this type of nonsense. Suffice to say, if anyone has any details about this, I am sure that GIGABYTE would love to hear from you.

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