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Old October 18th, 2006, 09:42 AM   #1
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Apple Ipods shipped with VIRUS in them.

Here's an interesting article. Apparently some of the new Ipods came out of the factory with viruses in them.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15316394/

The virus only affects WINDOWS platforms... coincidence or 'something else????'

Maybe I should post this in Area 51
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Old October 19th, 2006, 05:43 AM   #2
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It affected less than 1% of ipods...something like 5 reported cases...not really news worthy except for people that love to try and make everything sensational...

Same thing happened with some .mp3 players given away in Japan and more people were actually effected...but not as "sensational" as apple ipods...

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Old October 19th, 2006, 06:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
Here's an interesting article. Apparently some of the new Ipods came out of the factory with viruses in them.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15316394/

The virus only affects WINDOWS platforms... coincidence or 'something else????'

Maybe I should post this in Area 51
The other part of the story was that the affected units shipped out in September and it was only Video iPods affected and only on Windows as was stated. It was caught early and none of the currently shipping units has the issue.

Not trying to defend Apple, just re-assure everyone that the issue has been put to rest.

-gb-
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Old October 19th, 2006, 08:45 AM   #4
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"Dog bites man" isn't news... but "Man bites dog" is.

The reason this gets play, is because one of Apple's biggest sales points, is it's relative freedome from the viruses that Windows is prone too.

Hence the posting.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 09:10 AM   #5
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Well if Steve would get off his !@#% and make the blasted thing more windows friendly, compatible etc, then may be we wouldn't have so many issues, as it stands, I think I've bought my last iPod.

Rant over.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 09:42 AM   #6
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Since I'm affected by this news, I totally disagree that this is not newsworthy. If the media failed to report this novel way to spread a virus, I'd say they weren't doing their job. And sensational or not, it unfortunately is not yet put to rest for all of us.

I just bought my wife the U2 version iPOD a couple of weeks ago and coincidentally (or not?) have noticed a dramatic increase in junk e-mail for the email account used to register the iPOD. So, already very busy this week and cranky with a nasty head cold, I'll get to spend some time this evening making sure Apple didn't give my web server or home computer a cold, too.

Apple included an embarrassingly weak mea culpa buried in it's more direct assault/blame on Windows, seeming to forget that when you point one finger at someone else, four fingers are pointing back at you:

http://www.apple.com/support/windowsvirus/
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.
Anyway, if I paid Apple for a virus, I'll certainly report it here.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 01:52 PM   #7
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On that same web page they say they've only had 25 reports of problems. If that's the case then it's not such a big deal, but who knows?

I have to agree with Pete on one thing however; it's really tacky of Apple to say they're upset about how vulnerable Windows machines are. I don't necessarily disagree with this view, but it's not appropriate to mention that in the same sentence where they apologize for something which is clearly their own fault. Kind of like blaming the victim for the crime.

But after looking at Apple's impressive numbers which were released last night, I don't think this will have any impact whatsoever on the company which continues to be "on a roll".
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Old October 20th, 2006, 02:49 AM   #8
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I said not newsworthy because it's not. Less than 1% is still very, very far from effecting most users. Quite possibly there was something getting set up on a machine that had a virus that wasn't effecting OSX and the system didn't even know it had it...so was able to pass it on.

What's more notable is that Apple will stand up and fix such a small number and make a press statement and aknowledge this is going on. Unlike MS who has horribly flawed, very vulnerable products that have left many more people open and vulnerable to known weaknesses. On apple as soon as an exploit is posted theres a new software update with a patch.

With the Windows machines infected the software company left the user out to dry and to deal with the bug on their own. Just kind of interesting how it's perceived by different folks. Also as per my initial reply there was another company that did something similar in much larger numbers...that is something more to worry about. I bet other players have as well but no one spoke up or the users had no way of distinguishing that virus or spyware from all the others clogging their system

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Old October 20th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #9
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There is a big difference from shipping a product that has a weakness that can be exploited with a virus, as in the case of Microsoft, and shipping a product that contains a virus.

At this stage unless they have examined every unit shipped Apple really does not know how many are infected

It is like sony with the exploding/burning batteries, the reported problems were low, eventually Sony had to accept recall of millions of units.

Sharyn
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Old October 20th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #10
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"We've only found a FEW people infected with the virus, no need to report this."

Would that be an acceptable approach if we were dealing with human virii? I think not. In fact, I KNOW not, as I've worked in the press.

Whether or not it turns out to be a 'big' deal. The story is newsworthy from the point of view, or it's UNIQUENESS. Again, "Man Bites DOG" isn't about the fact that it happens every day, but about the fact that it is RARE and UNEXPECTED.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #11
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To me it's another case of typical reporting... fear based, sensational "news" stories... Now there will be even more folks sure they got a virus from Apple because it's in their minds...so the next time something goes wrong...that'll be the culprit.

Also how this virus got into mutliple manufacturers mp3 players is a legitimate question, but not super news worthy.

A few people effected by an accident doesn't shouldn't make every person and their dog start looking for things to go wrong with theirs. Same as working at a hospital...they report some fad disease and everyone in town thinks they have it and go into the hospital. I think there were a handful of exploding batteries at most...but folks who had been happy and performing all along suddenly had something that didn't work. I'm glad companies are held to account...but it's just ridiculous sometimes. I actually enjoy living over here now and if you have something defective you're lucky if they don't charge you to fix it even if it's their fault :) Kind of refreshing to see folks not getting through life by whining and complaining...

Paul
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Old October 20th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cypert
I think there were a handful of exploding batteries at most...but folks who had been happy and performing all along suddenly had something that didn't work.
The issue with the lithium-ion batteries is that a group of them have been identified as having contaminants accidentally introduced during the manufacturing process. Those contaminants can slowly abrade the thin membrane sheet that separates the positive and negative materials inside the battery. When and if that happens, you get a short circuit, massive heat buildup and rapid thermal expansion which leads to explosion or fire.

Lithium-ion batteries can be more dangerous in this scenario because they produce a lot of energy density for their size. That's great for longevity but bad if they short out. Actually, if you short out any battery it will get very hot and can explode if it has enough charge remaining.

With the manufacturing defect in the Sony made batteries, the recall is because they don't know which batteries manufactured during that time frame got contamination and how much or how little. Those batteries are like potential timebombs. That's why folks were advised to stop using them.

Have a look at THIS story.

-gb-
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Old October 20th, 2006, 12:58 PM   #13
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Indeed, to each his or her own opinion. Thanks to those who think it is ridiculous for customers to be notified of a potential problem -- I'll know not to do business with you!

Undoubtedly MANY THOUSANDS of people have bought iPODs since mid-September. It would have been a gross disservice by the manufacturer AND news media to NOT report the inadvertant release of a computer virus in an unexpected way, on a new hardware product. Whether the ultimate tally of infected devices turns out to be 5, 25, or 25K, making notification was the right thing to do. Each person who MIGHT have an infected machine needs to know and check it out.

A nice alternative would have been to individually notify new owners who registerd iPODs with serial numbers from that lot of devices. AFAIK, for whatever reason that hasn't happened; so the news story, which is already falling off the major services, is the only way we'd have known to check. Of course, the individual notifications would have required an accompanying press release anyway.

So my opinion is "good on Apple and good on the media" that Apple released the information -- which is quite a different thing from being "held to account." Much less importantly, they didn't much impress me with the obvious cheap shot at a competitor in the mea culpa, or that they didn't bother to drop an email to potentially affected customers who took their time to register the product.

In any case, I was quite under the weather last night, so only ran a usual weekly virus scan on the home system and iPOD. Clean. I have yet to check other computers in the house (unlikely to be infected but naturally I'll check) and my web server, and perhaps out of curiosity this weekend I'll have a look at recent weekly anti-virus scan logs on the at-risk system.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 05:17 PM   #14
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that little rub by apple is a little disappointing, but not surprising. after all, it falls in line with their entire marketing campaign. not to initiate any sort of platform debate, but i think most people don't understand that the apple OS, especially pre-unix versions, are not inherently more secure than windows -- with a relatively small market share, they're simply not targeted as frequently.

thanks for the info as i hadn't heard about this before. as a recent purchaser of a couple of video ipods, this is stuff i would like to know about.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 07:43 PM   #15
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Can anyone explain to me how exactly a virus actually entered the iPods?!?

It all seems a little strange. I presume these are all new iPods straight off the manufacturing line? I just can't imagine WHY an iPod would be connected up to a Windows-based machine during this process.

Does this mean PCs running Windows (without virsus protection) are used in the creation of iPods? I'd imagine that's the only possibility as Mac systems can not transmit this virus. If so, that makes me laugh after watching so many Apple vs Windows ads.
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