Acer’s class action alleges audio, video, computer security flaws | Media Pyro

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Anne Bucher

August 18, 2022

Category: Electronics

Inside an Acer store inside a shopping centre.
(Photo Credit: TK Kurikawa/Shutterstock)

Acer class action law overview:

  • EDS: Plaintiff Stephen Stewart filed a class action lawsuit against Acer.
  • Why: Some Acer computers allegedly have a design flaw that causes them to experience “disastrous stuttering” and leave them vulnerable to firmware attacks.
  • Where: The Acer class action lawsuit was filed in California federal court.

Some Acer computers have a design flaw that makes them vulnerable to catastrophic firmware attacks, according to an Acer class-action lawsuit filed Aug. 16 in California federal court.

Plaintiff Stephen Stewart alleges that Acer computers with AMD Ryzen or Athlon processors have embedded “firmware TPM” (Trusted Platform Module) modules that cause the device to stutter while playing videos, video games, and during video conferencing.

“At the same time, this design flaw leaves these Acer computers particularly vulnerable to catastrophic firmware attacks – despite the fact that TPM is designed, by its very nature. defend against such attacks,” the Acer class action lawsuit alleges.

Despite allegedly being aware of this significant design flaw, Acer continues to market its AMD laptops and desktop computers as suitable for watching videos, playing video games, and video conferencing, says Stewart.

In addition, he says that Acer seductively touts the computers as having “robust” and “multi-layered” security.

Acer’s class action lawsuit alleges that computers are not fit for intended use

Stewart claims he bought an Acer computer with a faulty fTPM design. He says he experienced the stuttering effect while using the computer. He also alleges that his Acer computer is “particularly vulnerable” to firmware attacks that could affect his home and business networks.

The Acer class action lawsuit alleges that Stewart and the putative Class Members purchased Acer computers that are not fit for their intended use. Beyond that, Stewart says the resale value of Acer computers is “crippled.”

In 2021, Microsoft began testing TPM for computers running its Windows 11 operating system in response to an increasing number of malicious firmware attacks.

“Faced with a potentially burdensome redesign, Acer turned to AMD, which created and implemented a device that was essentially a defeat device for Microsoft’s new TPM requirement,” says Acer’s class action lawsuit.

Instead of installing an actual TPM, which is a separate piece of hardware, Acer allegedly relied on the fTPM, which is just a piece of code that tells the operating system that it’s a TPM.

This flawed system allegedly caused “catastrophic stuttering” on Acer computers as well as a significant security vulnerability. Despite receiving numerous complaints about the issue, Acer’s class action lawsuits say the company never issued a recall to fix the issue and continued to misrepresent the functionality and security of the computers.

In 2013, Acer settled a class action lawsuit alleging that some of its Notebooks did not have enough memory to run the Microsoft Windows Vista Premium OS.

If you bought an Acer or other computer with a faulty AMD or Athlon processor that caused video glitches such as screen stuttering or robotic sound, you may be eligible to participate in a lawsuit.

Stewart is represented by Yavar Bathaee, Andrew C. Wolinsky, Brian J. Dunne, and Edward M. Grauman of Bathaee Dunne LLP.

The IS Acer Action Class Class yes Stephen Stewart v. Acer Inc., et al.Case No. 5:22-cv-04684, in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division.



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