New iPods may contain virus

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A percentage of recently shipped iPods may be infected by the Windows virus, RavMonE.exe, according to a statement made by Apple Computer today.

The statement estimates at least one percent of Apple Video iPods available for purchase after 12 September 2006 may contain the malware, which only affects Windows.

Fiona Martin, Public Relations Manager for Apple Computer Australia, told SC that the number of globally affected units were unknown, and only a small percent of affected units would be available locally.

“I’m not sure whether we’ve been impacted,” said Martin. “Australia will be less than one percent of the affected units globally.”

Martin was unsure of the malware’s country of origin and says a patch released from Apple’s US headquarters overnight is available on Apple’s support website.

Security vendor Sophos released a statement saying the malware used a common name making it difficult to identify its characteristics. According to Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos, the exact type of virus is not known.

"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," said Cluley.

"The good news is that if you have kept your anti-virus software up-to-date then your security software should have no trouble detecting it before it can do any harm. The even better news - if you own an Apple computer at least - is that the malware only runs on Windows, not on Mac OS X."
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