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Freshly Shipped Windows Netbooks Might Contain Malware

Kaspersky, an antivirus solution provider, on May 18, 2009 reported that it had found malicious software on a brand new Windows supported netbook. The security company says that when software developers at Kaspersky loaded a security software on a Windows XP netbook bought for examination, they discovered that it had contained three malicious programs

These malicious programs consisted of an AutoRun worm that proliferates through infected USB sticks, a rootkit as well as a password stealer. Password stealer facilitates in capturing credentials to log-in online games like World of Warcraft.

The company's researchers said that the freshly acquired netbook had its original packaging at the time of purchase. Therefore, the malicious programs were installed on the PC while it was being manufactured.

Furthermore, the researchers discovered a number of Windows system restore points. These points indicated that new software or drivers had loaded to update the system before it was dispatched from the factory.

But Roel Schouwenberg, Senior antivirus Researcher at Kaspersky, said that the USB stick used to add the drivers to the system was infected which in turn infected the system, as reported by ComputerWorld on May 19, 2009.

Although it is rarely found that malware is loaded on consumer electronics at the factory, yet such instances have happened, said the security specialists. An example of such happening occurred in December 2008 when Amazon.com informed consumers that it had shipped some digital photo frames of Samsung in which the driver installation CD contained a Trojan downloader.

The security experts further state that protection against new malware-laden devices is especially hard; however, owners of the new netbooks must scan the systems for malware prior to putting them online.

According to Schouwenberg, it is the most appropriate action although it might seem to involve a great deal of work, as reported by Netbook Choice on May 19, 2009. Schouwenberg suggests that owners should first install a security program, then update it through the recovery of the most recent definition on a different PC, transport that program update over to the netbook, and finally scan it fully with antivirus software.

» SPAMfighter News - 5/25/2009

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