Your iPod May Come With Something Extra: A Virus

First lead in your toys, now viruses on your iPods (AAPL). The AP reminds us that viruses have been found preloaded on some iPods, digital picture frames sold at Target, Best Buy, and Sam’s Club, and TomTom Navigation gear – most of which came from Chinese factories.

How big is the problem? Who knows? The AP sort of shrugs. But it does suggest that the viruses haven’t been installed maliciously:

So far, the virus problem appears to come from lax quality control – perhaps a careless worker plugging an infected music player into a factory computer used for testing – rather than organised sabotage by hackers or the Chinese factories.

But that won’t appease anyone who gets a gadget with this junk on it. Some of the viruses are reportedly designed to steal passwords, disable virus protection software, and, the old standby, fill your computer with Spam.

Best Buy removed some of the products from its shelves and notified their vendors. Apple (AAPL) said that a “small number” of video iPods in 2006 were infected from a PC that was used to test the software. Target and Sam’s Club said they were investigating the complaints.

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