“From iPods to navigation systems, some of today’s hottest gadgets are landing on store shelves with some unwanted extras from the factory — pre-installed viruses that steal passwords, open doors for hackers and make computers spew spam,” Jordan Robertson reports for The Associated Press.
“Computer users have been warned for years about virus threats from downloading Internet porn and opening suspicious e-mail attachments. Now they run the risk of picking up a digital infection just by plugging a new gizmo into their PCs,” Robertson reports.
“Recent cases include some of the most widely used tech devices: Apple iPods, digital picture frames sold by Target and Best Buy stores and TomTom navigation gear,” Robertson reports.
The full Associated Press article, headlined “Ipods with a surprise – a built-in virus for your computer,” here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention for the heads up.]
And now for some sorely needed perspective. Please note the date and the number of affected units and contrast those facts with the AP story and headline:
From Apple.com, Tuesday, October 17, 2006:
We recently discovered that a small number – less than 1% – of the Video iPods available for purchase after September 12, 2006 left our contract manufacturer carrying the Windows RavMonE.exe virus. This known virus affects only Windows computers, and up to date anti-virus software which is included with most Windows computers should detect and remove it. So far we have seen less than 25 reports concerning this problem. The iPod nano, iPod shuffle and Mac OS X are not affected, and all Video iPods now shipping are virus free. As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it.
How to remove the Windows virus
RavMonE.exe is a known Windows virus and up to date anti-virus software using the default settings should detect and remove it. If you do not have anti-virus software on your Windows computer, we recommend that you install one of the many available programs. Here are a few trial programs that can remove this Windows virus which you can download free of charge:
• Microsoft Live OneCare Safety Scanner – free application
• Microsoft Live OneCare – 90 day trial version
• McAfee – 30 day trial version
• Symantec Norton Anti-Virus – 30 day trial version
After installing an anti-virus application, you should attach your Video iPod to your Windows computer and run the anti-virus program. If your Windows system is infected with this virus, an alert will be triggered and inform you that the virus has been detected and either quarantined or removed. You should then use iTunes 7 to easily restore the software on your newly purchased Video iPod.
Because this Windows virus propagates via mass storage devices, we recommend that you scan any mass storage devices that you have recently attached to your Windows computers such as external hard drives, digital cameras with removable media, and USB flash drives.
While this Windows virus does not affect Mac OS X or the iPod itself, Mac customers can use iTunes 7 to easily restore the software on their newly purchased Video iPod to ensure that it does not carry this Windows virus. The Video iPod can then be used on a Windows computer without concern.