September 1, 2005 9:18 AM PDT

Virus-infected Creative Zen MP3 players found

A number of Creative's Zen digital music players infected with the Wullik.B virus have been shipped to consumers in Japan.

According to the company's Japanese Web site, the problem has affected 5GB Creative Zen Neeon with serial numbers between 1230528000001 and 1230533001680. Wullik.B, which runs on the Windows operating system, first appeared in early 2004, spreading by e-mail.

Several thousand Neeons are thought to be affected, according to reports. The problem, however, is only restricted to Asia-Pacific countries, as the Neeon is not available outside the region.

According to antivirus companies, it's unlikely--although not impossible--that users will transfer the worm from an infected Neeon to their computer. For a PC to be potentially infected, a Neeon user would have to connect their MP3 player to the computer, browse the files and copy the worm to the PC's hard drive.

Infected Neeons, which have been on sale since May, will not be affected by the virus as the digital music players do not run on Windows.

Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos, told Silicon.com: "When you connect an MP3 player to your computer, your PC normally treats it as just another drive. That means you can scan it with the antivirus software on your computer or have the 'always-on' protection that's running on your PC intercept the virus as you try and copy it to your hard drive. So, as long as you have kept your regular antivirus software up-to-date then you should have nothing much to worry about."

Although there are no details of how the virus came to be on the MP3 players, Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at antivirus firm F-Secure, said an infected PC used during the Neeon testing phase may be responsible.

"Probably somewhere along the line when they were testing the pre-production systems, an infected PC connected to the device," he said. "The virus would copy itself to a random folder on the device. After this they made a master image of an infected test device and that's it."

Neither F-Secure nor Sophos have received any reports of infections from customers.

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.

12 comments

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great marketing
Ha HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
Posted by (96 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I couldn't agree more,...
BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Posted by corelogik (680 comments )
Link Flag
Now THIS they should patent
Seriously, this is truly unique to their players! Patent this and no one else put put viruses on their portable players ever besides you!

:D
Posted by (461 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Disgruntled Employee?
Or really poor QA? I would think/hope a reputable corporation like creative would include virus scanning in the QA process.

I think it is more likely a disgruntled employee placed it there intentionally.
Posted by Kamokazi (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Or...
the reality of living in a windows world....
Posted by (96 comments )
Link Flag
Not the first time this has happened
"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by ignorance" -- Author unknown and I probably didn't quote it exactly either but you should understand the gist.

It seems this happens every time a new medium for carrying information from PC to PC is created. There were vendors (major companies) that shipped virus infected floppy disks that were supposed to install their product, later the same thing happened with CDs when that medium came along. That it's happened again with a new kind of device isn't so surprising.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
Not Creative's week...
First they get called on their transparent plan to use their patent approval to shill their products:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.forbes.com/2005/08/31/creative-patent-switch-cx_dl_0831creative.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.forbes.com/2005/08/31/creative-patent-switch-cx_dl_0831creative.html</a>

Then this.

Hee hee.
Posted by M C (598 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Tsk... tsk... tsk...
Calling QC and QA... Wake up!
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Link Flag
More Holes Than a New Orleans Levee
What do you expect when the base OS it uses, I wonder who's, has
more holes than a New Orleans levee.

Actually, BWAAHAHAHAHAHHA - (toot, squeaker) -
LOLHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Posted by cjohn17 (268 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So They Have Sold 1.2 Trillion?
Who thinks up these stupid serial numbers? The poor customers have to read these ridiculous things over the phone. They have to read a number with no punctuation or anything -- just a series of numbers. How user-unfriendly.

"serial numbers between 1230528000001 and 1230533001680"
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who ever said...
... that serial numbers should be user friendly? What do you want? Flowers and butterflies to go with that?
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Link Flag
New marketing slogan...
Worms for sure!
Posted by Terry Murphy (82 comments )
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