Mobile

TomTom devices infected with trojans

January 29, 2007

A number of recently shipped TomTom satellite navigation devices are infected with malware, the Dutch company said today.

The virus is installed on the TomTom GO 910 model, but doesn’t affect performance, the satellite navigation firm claimed. However, users on Microsoft Windows systems risk running the malicious code and infecting their computer, according to a posting on IT forum, DaniWeb, where the problem was first reported.

The units are infected with two trojans, manufactured between September and November of last year and shipped with software version 6.51, according to the DaniWeb entry.

TomTom would not reveal the exact number of products infected and is yet to issue an advisory to its customers despite acknowledging the incident. According to the internet posting, when a user contacted the company to report the problem, they were advised to "let their anti-virus software delete the virus and move on as they are not dangerous trojans."

Last October, a number of Apple Video iPods were shipped containing the Windows virus RavMonE.exe, and were thought to be infected during product testing. The same month, a Japanese branch of McDonalds had to recall 10,000 MP3 players after finding spyware installed on the devices.

The two viruses mistakenly included on the TomTom hard drive are Perlovga.a and Small.qp, according to anti-virus vendor F-Secure. Perlovga.a was discovered last June and Small.qp in January 2005, according researcher Patrik Runald, posting on the company’s blog.

Many TomTom users may not be aware that the malware can infect their PCs, according to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.

"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," he said in a news release. "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."

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