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Seagate Hard Drives Succumb to Virus Infection

Seagate is asking its customers to check if their systems have malware following the discovery of a password-capturing Trojan in a small number of Seagate hard drives.

According to the vendor, researchers at security company Kaspersky discovered and reported the malware to be on the Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 model.

Seagate, which was reserved about declaring the number of infected drives being sold, said it was only a limited number.

The company has currently stopped producing new systems and is concentrating on disinfecting all the affected drives. It said it was reworking the inventory to get back the infected drives already delivered to retailers.

A report from Taipei Times on November 12, 2007 indicated that Xander International, a Taiwanese distributor, had found infection in 1,800 Maxtor Basics 500G-byte hard drives that were all produced in Thailand.

On November 12 2007, when IDG News Service contacted Seagate, the company presented some extra information about the problem. But it did not say that it is probing into the cause that resulted in the infection. It also did not declare that a free trial for 60 days of the anti-virus software of Kaspersky was being made available on Seagate's Website. Forrest Monroy, spokesperson of Seagate, said over e-mail that the trial edition of the anti-virus software could detect and clean the virus. PCWorld reported this on November 13, 2007.

The Trojan that Kaspersky identified was called Virus.Win32.AutoRun.ah. It has been found that the virus hunts the system's hard drive to gather information regarding passwords for World of Warcraft and several Chinese online games like WSGame, AskTao, and QQ, Seagate said. The virus also deactivates the system's anti-virus programs.

Seagate has recommended users to update their anti-virus applications with the recent virus definitions to clean the infected units. For customers who have not yet updated their anti-virus software, a trial edition of the Kaspersky developed anti-virus software is freely available from Seagate.

A similar instance of shipping infected Seagate drives had also happened earlier when in 1995, the virus called Stoned.Angelina entered the manufacturing plants of Seagate and infected several of its IDE hard drives.

Related article: Societe Generale Employee Confesses to Trading through Hacked Systems

» SPAMfighter News - 11/27/2007

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