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Some video iPods infected with Windows virus

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Apple Computer this week said that a small number of its updated fifth-generation iPods were shipped to customers with a virus that could affect users of Microsoft's Windows operating system.

"We recently discovered that a small number -- less than 1 percent -- of the Video iPods available for purchase after September 12, 2006 left our contract manufacturer carrying the Windows RavMonE.exe virus," the company wrote in a bulletin on its support website.

"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."

Apple said its iPod nano, iPod shuffle and Mac OS X operating system 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," the Cupertino, Calif.-based iPod maker said.

In order to remove the Windows virus, Apple recommends using a free trial of one of the listed anti-virus software packages, which include default settings that should detect and remove it.

"After installing an anti-virus application, you should attach your Video iPod to your Windows computer and run the anti-virus program," Apple said. "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."

Once the virus has been removed, the company recommends that customers use iTunes 7 to easily restore the software on their newly purchased video iPod.

Because the Windows virus propagates via mass storage devices, Apple recommends that users also scan any mass storage devices that they have recently attached to their 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 company said. "The Video iPod can then be used on a Windows computer without concern."
post #2 of 47
that's apple calling out to pc buyers to buy an extra mac.
accidental marketing.
post #3 of 47
Yep, they "accedentally" sent out iPods with a virus on them.
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post #4 of 47
You think about this, that's pretty lame. How did this virus get onto the HD? It seems like Apple should have good enough security on any machine these things are being connected to for formatting that this should never happen. Knowing the vulnerability of Windows, they ought to have the latest and greatest virus protection installed.
post #5 of 47
What is technically NOT qualified as a virus on a PC? Everything screws them up. I wonder if viruses even exist. Perhaps windows makes them to cover up original errors that they discover. LOL
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdj21ya

You think about this, that's pretty lame. How did this virus get onto the HD? It seems like Apple should have good enough security on any machine these things are being connected to for formatting that this should never happen. Knowing the vulnerability of Windows, they ought to have the latest and greatest virus protection installed.

Knowing how iPods are all made in factories oversea operated by contractors, Apple probably doesn't have much to do with the virus infection. They don't run the factories themselves after all.

If you visited factories in China, you'd know it could be a difficult task to control every aspects of the production line. You can dictate how parts are assembled and how products are tested, but probably not down to the details, like what kind of anti-virus software those computers run and how often they are being updated.
post #7 of 47
Oh yeah, new maketing campaign - we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses. Put a virus in quicktime and iTunes too.
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCE10

Knowing how iPods are all made in factories oversea operated by contractors, Apple probably doesn't have much to do with the virus infection. They don't run the factories themselves after all.

If you visited factories in China, you'd know it could be a difficult task to control every aspects of the production line. You can dictate how parts are assembled and how products are tested, but probably not down to the details, like what kind of anti-virus software those computers run and how often they are being updated.

I can't agree with that. It seems like a pretty simple thing to write into a contract. If you are going to have to connect the HD's to a computer (which I assume you need to do to get the software onto them), that computer needs to be guaranteed free from viruses.
post #9 of 47
and I remember all of the trash-talking when some of Creative's players had a virus...
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdj21ya

You think about this, that's pretty lame. How did this virus get onto the HD? It seems like Apple should have good enough security on any machine these things are being connected to for formatting that this should never happen. Knowing the vulnerability of Windows, they ought to have the latest and greatest virus protection installed.

Remember that as Apple said, iPods, and everything else is mde by contract manufacturers. When everything is not done in-house, these problems are more likely to occur.

I bought a Dell for my company ten years ago that came with a virus. It took us several hours before we realised why we were having problems setting it up. (And yes, they are MADE by Dell.)

I called Dell, who promptly denied that any such thing came from them. After being moved up several layers of support over two days, it was finally admitted that machines had gone out with one.

But, it still took another entire day to get them to admit that they KNEW about it well before our machine had shipped. Finally they gave us a password for their site that contained a special bit of software designed to remove this very virus from their machines that had been shipped with it!

Four days of arguing, when they could have simply said: "Yes, and we're sorry, here's the password that will get you what you need to fix it."

MS also once shipped a disk with their OS that has a virus, and several other software companies over the years shipped programs with virii.

It does happen.

It's how they handle it that matters!
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdj21ya

I can't agree with that. It seems like a pretty simple thing to write into a contract. If you are going to have to connect the HD's to a computer (which I assume you need to do to get the software onto them), that computer needs to be guaranteed free from viruses.

You can write anything you want into a contract, but as any lawyer will tell you, that doesn't mean that all the requirements will be fulfilled.

The contracts are not there to guarantee that proper procedures will always be followed, but to give a legal basis for a lawsuit later, if it is found that they were not.

It's the threat of the suit that keeps others in line, hopefully.
post #12 of 47
Quote:
"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," the Cupertino, Calif.-based iPod maker said.

Didn't Steve Jobs say before that he didn't want to paint a big red target on Apple's back and attract the wrong kind of attention?
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

It does happen.

It's how they handle it that matters!

I'd have to say that so far Apple is handling it very poorly. Making a jab at the Windows OS just sounds lame when they're the ones with egg on their face. Also, this statement provides no info for what will be done for those affected by this virus.
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

You can write anything you want into a contract, but as any lawyer will tell you, that doesn't mean that all the requirements will be fulfilled.

The contracts are not there to guarantee that proper procedures will always be followed, but to give a legal basis for a lawsuit later, if it is found that they were not.

It's the threat of the suit that keeps others in line, hopefully.

Certainly. I am a former law student myself. I'm saying I hope that they weren't stupid enough not to negotiate that into the contract. Though their attitude reflected in this statement makes me doubt their forethought on this matter. If Apple didn't put this into the contract, then they bear a good share of the blame in this.
post #15 of 47
Quote:
I'd have to say that so far Apple is handling it very poorly. Making a jab at the Windows OS just sounds lame when they're the ones with egg on their face. Also, this statement provides no info for what will be done for those affected by this virus.

That's the question, isn't it? Dell did little for me, and it was a bigger problem. Very few used virus protection back then, as compared to now. And we couldn't even get to the point of installing it.

Apple probably heard of a problem, but didn't know if it was real. Then they found out it was. How long after they knew there really was a problem were they announcing it, and the solution?

Was it a temporary problem that the manufacturer found and corrected? Did Apple have to intercede?

Does Apple have the serial numbers of those with infected iPods? I would think they would, if it happened serially in the plant. Do they offer those people anything? Should people have to prove something was lost first? Was it enough just to be inconvenienced?

If they offer compensation, what do they offer?

It can get complicated.

I don't think they should have mentioned Windows in the announcement, however.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdj21ya

Certainly. I am a former law student myself. I'm saying I hope that they weren't stupid enough not to negotiate that into the contract. Though their attitude reflected in this statement makes me doubt their forethought on this matter. If Apple didn't put this into the contract, then they bear a good share of the blame in this.

My wife, who is a lawyer, and has dealt with Apple through CitiGroup, where she works, and handles all of the computer contracts, says that Apple has a very good legal team. They know what they want, and are clear about it.
post #17 of 47
It is a complicated question, and perhaps this is just their answer while they figure out how to actually handle it. Hopefully they'll do something if anyone was actually harmed by it (e.g. virus opens up ports, hacker gains control of computer/access to private info). If it was just the inconvenience of running the virus remover, perhaps they don't NEED to do anything. Still, it might be classy to offer the purchasers of the affected serial numbers some free iTunes downloads.
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

My wife, who is a lawyer, and has dealt with Apple through CitiGroup, where she works, and handles all of the computer contracts, says that Apple has a very good legal team. They know what they want, and are clear about it.

I'd have assumed that they would have covered this. I'm just saying I hope they weren't naive just because of their lack of experience with the Windows OS and the multitude of viruses written for it.
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdj21ya

I can't agree with that. It seems like a pretty simple thing to write into a contract. If you are going to have to connect the HD's to a computer (which I assume you need to do to get the software onto them), that computer needs to be guaranteed free from viruses.

Hopefully it IS in the contract. But contracts don't magically stop problems from happening. They just pass on the cost of mistakes to the factory, things like that. I'm sure the factory will be penalized, but that doens't fix the ipods.

And I think many preloaded hard drives get loaded up with data before they are installed - it's possible that a few iPods got connected to a computer after they were finished just for a smoke test.

I hope apple is doing for something for people who have the bad units, but I don't necessarily think the article needs to spell that out. I am a little surprised the article doesn't say to contact apple and report it, that's disappointing.
post #20 of 47
Is a contract really the issue here? I'm an Apple lover, and I have to say that most people do not understand outsourcing. The name on the product is Apple, and the face of the company is Steve Jobs. That's where the blame or praise goes for most people--pure and simple. Bill Gates didn't write the new Vista Networking Stack, but if it sucks, he's going to take the hit. The Apple logo on the product is supposed to mean that you are paying for a high quality product. Microsoft didn't put the virus on the iPods, some Apple contractor did.

I'm a HUGE Apple fan. I'm glad they addressed the issue that they created immediately (that's good), but there's no reason to knock Windows (that's bad). Let Windows speak for itself--because it does.
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder

Hopefully it IS in the contract. But contracts don't magically stop problems from happening. They just pass on the cost of mistakes to the factory, things like that. I'm sure the factory will be penalized, but that doens't fix the ipods.

There's no magic involved. Knowing you'll have to pay for a mistake makes mistakes less likely, IF the the mistakes are due to negligence.
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdj21ya

There's no magic involved. Knowing you'll have to pay for a mistake makes mistakes less likely, IF the the mistakes are due to negligence.

I'm just saying it doesn't eliminate mistakes. It's unfortunate, but it's probably impossible to 100% prevent these sorts of things.
post #23 of 47
with all the legal issues aside, this could be some form of genius guerilla marketing for promoting macs.
post #24 of 47
"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."


you gotta love it...
post #25 of 47
Apple was an ass for taking a jab at Windows over their own screwup.

They've pretty much ensured every tech media outlet will take a very unsympathetic view and slam them every which way.

With the result that the infection may only have affected less than 1% of iPods, but will affect more than 1% of future sales. Buyers will be a bit apprehensive about buying something that may or may not have a nasty surprise lurking on the drive.

And what perfect propaganda for Microsoft: "Buy a Zune, it may not be as glamorous, but because we know Windows, we don't give you viruses."

I'm unimpressed by Apple, both by letting the virus screwup happen but also the PR response.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelb

Apple was an ass for taking a jab at Windows

Personally, I found it EXTREMELY funny
post #27 of 47
I support the left hook punch at Windows. Apple is saying, look, we are supporting Windows to the best of our capability right now. So that means, well, wake the frack up and keep your Windows antivirus up-to-date. It's impossible with the amount of new viruses written every single day and all that to ensure every machine in Apple's production line is virus-free.

The fact that Apple caught it, admitted it, and is providing a clear solution is Apple's commitment to quality and at least some level of transparency, your "Apple tax" dollars in full use.
post #28 of 47
Here's some important information from Sophos:

"Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have reminded users of the necessity to scan all storage devices they attach to their computers for malware as news breaks of a number of Video iPods that have been shipped containing Windows malware.

In a statement on its website, Apple has confirmed that some Video iPods available for purchase after 12 September, 2006 left their contract manufacturer carrying a malicious file, RavMonE.exe.

Less than one percent of Video iPods shipped since 12 September are said to be affected. iPod Nanos and iPod Shuffle devices are not reported to be carrying the malicious file, which can only activate on Windows computers.

Sophos notes that presently Apple is not displaying the correct name for the malware on its website, instead referring to it as the RavMonE.exe Windows virus.

"There are a number of different pieces of malware which use a file called RavMonE.exe and so we don't know at the moment precisely which Trojan horse or virus that may have been shipped," continued Cluley. "The name RavMonE.exe actually comes from a perfectly legitimate program called RAV Anti-Virus so it would be wrong to call a piece of malware by this name. Hackers sometimes spoof the names of legitimate programs to cause greater confusion."

Sophos will provide details of the correct name of the malware as soon as the information comes to light.

Experts at Sophos recommend that any storage device which is attached to a computer is checked for virus and other malware before use. Floppy disks, CD ROMs, USB keys, external hard drives and other devices are all capable of carrying malicious code which could infect the computers of innocent users.

Earlier this week it was reported that the Japanese subsidiary of McDonald's was recalling 10,000 MP3 players it had distributed as a giveaway. The fast food giant had discovered that a spyware Trojan horse was contained on the device."
post #29 of 47
McDonalds. Now serving biological viruses *and* computer viruses. They should have a new ticker of some sort: MacDonalds: 10,000 computer viruses served so far. 8)
post #30 of 47
apple needs to stop with this virus bullcrap, seriously, before someone out there really decides to f_c(k our shit up
post #31 of 47
Actually, I think this looks worse on iPods than it does on Windows-based machines.

Think about it: The average consumer (you know, the ones that don't read computer-based message boards) aren't computer-whizzes. To them, the fact that their iPod has a virus on it means that their iPod is the problem; not so much their PC.

And they'd have a point: Good hardware shouldn't have viruses at all - especailly hardware made by Apple.

If this were more widespread, I'd imagine that this could damage the iPod's reputation.
post #32 of 47
Apple is saying Windows is vunerable, so I will infect you then laugh at you while you suffer.
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdj21ya

I can't agree with that. It seems like a pretty simple thing to write into a contract. If you are going to have to connect the HD's to a computer (which I assume you need to do to get the software onto them), that computer needs to be guaranteed free from viruses.

Did anyone think that it may NOT be the fabrication plant but rather the HDD manufacturer that supplies the HDD?

Seems to me that testing of a line wouldn't be at the 1% of production and it'd be random anyway so it'd cover more units than that... come to think of it, it would be on-going so cover more units.

Just a thought, you might find Tosh or whoever is the supplier of the HDD are the ones to blame - and THAT shouldn't happen EVER.
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post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by deckard

Did anyone think that it may NOT be the fabrication plant but rather the HDD manufacturer that supplies the HDD?

Seems to me that testing of a line wouldn't be at the 1% of production and it'd be random anyway so it'd cover more units than that... come to think of it, it would be on-going so cover more units.

Just a thought, you might find Tosh or whoever is the supplier of the HDD are the ones to blame - and THAT shouldn't happen EVER.

It happens when the drives are plugged into the drive burner. The software burned onto the drive contains the virus. The burner wipes the drives before burning them.

Find where that is being done, and you will have your culprit.

Of course, you then have to go back to find out who put the software package together that went into the drive burner. It's a drive image that's used.

Was that done at Apple? Or elsewhere?
post #35 of 47
Yes, and if that image is burnt to the drives prior to shipment to the fab plant, then we've found the culprit.
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post #36 of 47
Seeing as how it was a previously known virus, if you got hit by it then you're the one to blame for not keeping your anti-virus software up-to-date... Especially since just about every single anti-virus auto updates by default. If it was out of date you had to knowingly tell it to stop updating.

Apple can't be responsible for you at that point.
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post #37 of 47
Youd think this would be a decent PR problem... but the story doesnt seem to be a big deal... i guess theres really no stopping the iconic Ipod.

Btw i think this looks REALLY bad for apple personally, and am kind of embarrassed for them. Im sorry i think you should be able to ship an Mp3 without a virus on it... hopefully the number of players affected is as small as they say.
post #38 of 47
Does this mean that every manufacturer of Mac products is now free to pull the same Apple PR stunt whenever issues are discovered in their own products? For example:

http://www.adobe.com/products/acroba...ate082005.html

Security update for Adobe Reader and Acrobat software

Adobe PR statement: "As you might imagine, we are upset at Mac OS X for not being more hardy against such buffer overflows, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it."

http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.aspx

Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.0

Microsoft PR statement: "As you might imagine, we are upset at Mac OS X for not being more hardy against such vulnerabilities, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it."

http://www.techspot.com/news/23098-s...c-version.html

Skype releases security update to Mac version

Skype PR statement: "As you might imagine, we are upset at Mac OS X for not being more hardy against such remote system compromises, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it."

http://www.insanely-great.com/news.php?id=6560

Sony PR statement regarding exploding batteries: "As you might imagine, we are upset at Powerbook G4 for not being more hardy against such fire hazards, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it."
post #39 of 47
its no secret, apple needs to get back on track to high quality \
post #40 of 47
Good thing I still use my 3G iPod
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