Thursday, 26 February 2015

Another fake flash story

I recently purchased a 64GB mini SD card to slot in to my laptop and/or tablet, keeping media separate from my home directory pretty full of kernel sources.

This Samsung card looked fast enough, and at 25€ include shipping, seemed good enough value.


Hmm, no mention of the SD card size?

The packaging looked rather bare, and with no mention of the card's size. I opened up the packaging, and looked over the card.

Made in Taiwan?

What made it weirder is that it says "made in Taiwan", rather than "Made in Korea" or "Made in China/PRC". Samsung apparently makes some cards in Taiwan, I've learnt, but I didn't know that before getting suspicious.

After modifying gnome-multiwriter's fake flash checker, I tested the card, and sure enough, it's an 8GB card, with its firmware modified to show up as 67GB (67GB!). The device (identified through the serial number) is apparently well-known in swindler realms.

Buyer beware, do not buy from "carte sd" on Amazon.fr, and always check for fake flash memory using F3 or h2testw, until udisks gets support for this.

Amazon were prompt in reimbursing me, but the Comité national anti-contrefaçon and Samsung were completely uninterested in pursuing this further.

In short:

  • Test the storage hardware you receive
  • Don't buy hardware from Damien Racaud from Chaumont, the person behind the "carte sd" seller account

4 comments:

Felipe Vieira Borges said...

Not too relevant comment, but in Brazil we're allowed to bring our devices to the store and test it. Still does not solves all the problems, but might be a right the French people could have/invoke.

Bastien Nocera said...

Felipe: We don't usually have those problems in brick and mortar stores, just when buying by mail. You don't know who's on the other side, and whether they're trustworthy. In this case, it's clear they aren't. And I was protected by Amazon which was prompt to reimburse me.

Rémi Grolleau said...

Étrange coïncidence, j'habite à Chaumont et j'ai acheté la même carte aujourd'hui... Heureusement pour moi, c'était dans un super marché bien connu !

Bastien Nocera said...

Rémi: Par acquis de conscience, je te conseille de vérifier quand même ;)