TomTom has admitted that some of its SatNav devices have been
infected by malware.
Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global
network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have reminded
users of the necessity to run up-to-date anti-virus software as
internet reports claim that some TomTom GO 910 satellite navigation
devices for car drivers have been shipped with malware
An internet posting
by British technology journalist Davey Winder contains a statement
by the makers of the dashboard-mounted SatNav units acknowledging
TomTom SatNav devices are Linux-based, and cannot be infected by
the malware. However, Windows users who connect to the device via
their USB port could risk running the malicious code and infecting
their desktop computers.
"There are a number of postings on the internet from TomTom
purchasers asking for advice about the viruses, going back as far
as September 2006," said Graham Cluley, senior
technology consultant for Sophos. "But they are the lucky ones who
were running an anti-virus product and caught the infection before
it could cause too much harm. What's more worrying is how many
innocent consumers may be out there who don't know they might have
passed an infection onto their Windows PCs."
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.
Sophos notes that this is not the first time that manufacturers
have accidentally distributed malicious code to their customers on
hardware devices. In October last year it was discovered
that some Apple video iPods had shipped with the Troj/Bdoor-DIJ Trojan
horse, and that the Japanese subsidiary of McDonald's was recalling
10,000 MP3 players after discovering that a spyware Trojan horse
was contained on the devices.
Sophos continues to recommend that computer users ensure their
anti-virus software is up-to-date, and that companies protect
themselves with a consolidated solution
which can defend them from the threats of viruses, spyware and
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.