New Computers with Viruses on Them?

« Nearly Two Months In: What's the Latest with Conficker? | Main | Sluggish System? Your Antivirus Software is Probably to Blame »


New Computers with Viruses on Them?

Kevin R. Smith

OK. So, you just bought a new computer. It still even has that brand-new-in-the-box / fresh-PC-smell.

And it's already got a virus.

Oh, did I mention it came that way straight from the factory?

That's exactly what the folks at Kaspersky Labs, makers of highly-rated, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2009, discovered on a new netbook they just bought: a new netbook computer, straight from the factory with viruses.

Roel Schouwenberg discusses this in the Kaspersky Blog saying in the May 19, 2009, blog:

"The other day we bought a brand new M&A; Companion Touch to test. After initial checks, the testing group contacted me since they suspected a malware infection. Could this be yet another example of a factory-infected device?"

As it turns out, their brand new M&A; Companion Touch had not one but three bits of malware of just about every type imaginable: worm, rootkit, and trojan.

Malware Name Type MD5 Checksum
Worm.Win32.Autorun.aayn Worm 0x4f90e62489e5a891a1d9520408164b8c
Rootkit.Win32.Agent.hwq Rootkit 0x7f289b08a41ef6c26b684dc4d95028ee
Packed.Win32.Krap.g Trojan 0x1928c09bdb7d2c7d1180bf2105e1315a

After some digging, the Kaspersky specialist, "...was able to determine that these files had been present since February 2009, a long time before we got the netbook."

"This case shows once again that even brand new products can leave the factory infected.

Safeguarding against infected new devices is particularly difficult.

Doing an offline scan with an up to date security solution normally is the most effective solution.

As there will have been a time lapse between the device getting infected and you getting your hands on it, your security solution should have no problem detecting the malware."

That last sentence is one I took note of. Sure, it's no longer possible to trust brand new computers straight from the factory; however, it does mean that by installing antivirus software, you're likely to stop such malware in its tracks as the folks at Kaspersky have shown.

[Editor's Note: this isn't the first time we've seen factory-new products with viruses, we discussed the Samsung Digital Picture Frame virus last December.]


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference New Computers with Viruses on Them? :


You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.