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Apple Acknowledges Windows Virus in Some Video iPods [UPDATED]
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 at 3:15 PM - by
"Far less than one percent" of the video iPods Apple shipped after Sept. 12, 2006 contain a Windows virus known as RavMonE.exe, the company acknowledged on Tuesday. Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice-president of worldwide iPod marketing, cited that statistic in a conversation with Playlist, adding: "So far we have seen less than 25 reports ... The iPod nano and Shuffle are not affected."
The virus in question should be detected and zapped by any anti-virus software with up-to-date definitions, Apple said. The company recommends that Windows users attach their video iPods to their computers, run their anti-virus application, and then restore the iPod to its original factory settings through iTunes. The virus uses mass storage devices to propagate, so Apple also advises users to scan other external devices too.
Apple has posted a page on its Web site explaining how Windows users should handle the situation. Mr. Joswiak told Macworld UK that a Windows computer on the iPod production line apparently caused the infection. Asked how that happened, he replied: "We're not getting into details. There was an exception in the process that we have now remedied. We believe we have a process to make sure this doesn't happen again."
While RavMonE.exe doesn't affect Mac OS X, it will, of course, infect Windows running on an Intel-based Mac via Boot Camp, Parallels, or similar software. Such users should also undertake the steps recommended by Apple, if they are using a Windows-formatted video iPod.
Mr. Joswiak commented: "It appears that this virus does not directly cause any data damage. However, it does affect the security of the computer, which is why we recommend you run anti-virus software. 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."
Apple isn't alone with this problem, however. Macworld UK reported that 10,000 Trend Micro MP3 players given away by McDonald's in Japan are infected by the WORM_QQPASS.ADH worm, which can steal personal data. The fast food chain is offering Trend Micro software that will remove the worm, and it has told the winners of the prizes that they can exchange them for worm-free replacements. The MP3 players were only given away in Japan.
3:35 PM EST: Added more comments from other Macworld UK article.
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