October 17, 2006 2:05 PM PDT

Windows virus worms onto some Apple iPods

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Apple forges path to digital living room

September 12, 2006
Apple Computer warned on Tuesday that some of its latest iPods have shipped with a Windows virus.

The company said that a small number of video iPods made after Sept. 12 included the RavMonE virus. It said it has seen fewer than 25 reports of the problem, which it said does not affect other models of the media player, nor does it affect Macs.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company apologized on its Web site for the problem, but also used the opportunity to jab at Microsoft, its operating system rival.

"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," Apple said on its site.

Apple Vice President Greg Joswiak told CNET News.com that the virus was discovered last week and said the company has been working around the clock since then to discover the root cause of the problem. Joswiak said it was traced to a particular Windows machine in the manufacturing lines of a contract manufacturer that builds the iPods for Apple. The company declined to name the maker.

"It's more important to say we now have processes in place to make sure this won't happen again," Joswiak said. "Very few units actually went through that particular station, fortunately."

The company said that computers using a current antivirus software and with default settings should detect and remove RavMonE, as it is an identified virus. It is urging iPod users without such protection to install antivirus software.

Apple said that the video iPods now being made are virus-free. It introduced the latest generation of iPods last month.

Antivirus company McAfee listed the iPod threat as a low risk, but gave it the rating of "low/profiled," which the company said applies to viruses that "appear to be low risk, but warrant additional monitoring because they have attracted media interest."

Joswiak said the virus does not affect Macs or the iPod itself. As for Windows machines, Joswiak said the virus "does not cause data damage but can lower the security of the computer" and said it should be removed. Apple points to various antivirus firms' Web sites, including McAfee, Microsoft and Symantec, as places consumers can get antivirus software if they don't already have it.

Apple said that there was no intentional placement of the virus on the iPods. "You can rest assured of that," he said.

CNET News.com's Joris Evers contributed to this report.

See more CNET content tagged:
antivirus software, Apple Computer, Apple video iPod, virus, McAfee Inc.


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Add your comment
It was bound to happen
with all the Windows viruses that have been with us forever. Heck, it was reported that even Microsoft shipped the Concept virus on their Microsoft Windows 95 Software Compatibility Test CD in August 95.

Apple doesn't have any experience dealing with viruses, but they are going to have to learn:

When you lay down with dogs, you are going to get fleas.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I think you missed the point.
Posted by advs89 (68 comments )
Link Flag
Here's a way to clean up this virus........
A solution to this mess has been posted.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.teckmagazine.com/news/news/mcafee-releases-malware-removal-tool-for-ipod-and-mp3-users.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.teckmagazine.com/news/news/mcafee-releases-malware-removal-tool-for-ipod-and-mp3-users.html</a>
Posted by cnutsucks (25 comments )
Link Flag
yes. this idiot absolutely did miss the point.

apple ships their ipod with a virus that targets windows and then turns around and blames windows for not being hardier.

if a virus is targetted at a specific browser or OS, it's going to infect it, and then all the other "immune" browsers and OS's get to snort on their high horses.

apple's strategy was not to spread an infection widely. it was to have the minimum infection required to put out a press release damning microsoft in terms and such a manner that all those stupid enough to buy into the apple idiocy (people like rcrusoe) could understand and fall for.

just another example of steve jobbs and his absolutely classless mannerisms.

aim at idiots and you're going to penetrate into mass media marketing with a bang. the world is full of them.
Posted by sharpnova (4 comments )
Link Flag
Apple BS
If Windows is that bad, why would Apple use it as a production tool? I think the only reason a windows virus got into the iPod during production is because Apple is using Windows as a tool or that Apple OS is not all that secure itself...
Posted by wlau (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple does not own the factory that these are made in, they have no control over what really happens in there.

No doubt it is a bloody stupid mistake to make, but your comment doesn't make sense. If you mean by using Windows when they are made, they aren't made at Apple, you must have a fairly interesting view of chinese factories.

And what has the security of OS X got to do with it? That's not affected by the virus so what does this have to do with the security of the Mac OS?

Feel free to explain again, in case I'm missing something.
Posted by grandmasterdibbler (78 comments )
Link Flag
MS is used for updating firmware
Although Microsoft Windows has many frailties, it is needed by
Apple's iPod manufacturer to update the product's firmware for MS
Windows compatibility.
Posted by CBSTV (780 comments )
Link Flag
Because iPods have to be Windows compatible.
Thats why there was a Windows machine in the iPod production
loop. Please think before you post something that make no sense.
Posted by jones_8099 (177 comments )
Link Flag
Unbelievable stupidity by Apple
Apple needs to take responsibility for their goof up. How dare they ship me a virus infected iPod and then try to shove the blame on Windows and Microsoft?? Apple needs to fix their own quality control processes - not be pointing fingers at others for their shortcomings.
Posted by ancre007 (25 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Unbelievable stupidity by contractor, not apple
Take a valium and go back and read the story again. The virus was placed on the ipods from a company contracted to refurbish ipods. I will repeat this so you will understand... a company contracted to refurbish ipods.

This should look familiar: Dell, Apple, and HP recalling batteries made by Sony (a contracted company to make the batteries).

Apple has apologized for the incident but as for blame, you should be looking at the contractor.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
The Headline?
"Apple loads..." I'm sure Apple didn't load the virus. It was
probably some stupid Chinese factory worker trying to look up
porn. Apple has no control over what goes on in China.
Posted by mhersh (78 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But then again
But then again, a company that ships DIB(dead in box 1 in 20 chance) Ipods, this negative customer attitude should come as no surprise!

Don't forget , they also chose to purchase those cheap self exploding SONY Li batteries, for use in their laptops !

So customer last, is Apple's mantra anyway!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
... First off! The new laptop lines from Apple had no battery issues
and do not use the technology that caused the sony problem..

P.S Dell and Sony did have this issue.. I wonder if they mac Mac
computers? stupid..
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Link Flag
haha C|net changed the topic of this article.. "Apple loads Windows
virus on iPods" to "Windows virus worms onto some Apple iPods"..

That's right.. A lot of your community use Apple Products.. So stop
the propaganda or we will boycott your user driven site into the
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
nice notice of topic change :)
that is funny; do not blame the producer of a problem, but blaim it on the tools used; they should have their quality assurence process verify their systems not MS; probably they use electricity produced by some company, they could blaim the failure on those guys or on the company that provides them with Internet access ... :), just somebody else but not them!
Posted by goodnews1000 (12 comments )
Link Flag
"a lot" is what 5 percent? ROTFLMAO
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
Mephux threatens CNET
Good job there! A great way to impress people and make them respect you is to insult and threaten the very system you are posting your messages on.

Kudos to you, good sir. I will certainly now treat all postings by you with the respect you have earned with your remarks.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
Ignorant Apple
Apple users sware by there cult ways. Honestly, maybe apple users should end bashing whatever operating system and bash there own. No one actually cares about apples product being supposedly secure. Consider, they have less market share than firefox had at 1.0 launch, and even then, firefox was more secure. Fast forward to now, and with all the users of firefox, it has had a string of exploits.

Maybe apple should take after windows and fix there software exploits instead of releasing new version numbers with the exploits included for whatever insane cost.

An additional thought of mine is, why is apple using a manufacturer that has windows computers? I thought mac was so much better, seems the manufacturer did not think the same was true.

As for macs staying on for a year as is stated in a reply to this story, I find it incredibly stupid that this person would think that windows pc's always crash and macs stay on for years. There's a simple reason for this, normally when windows crashes, it's because of some memory leak in a program, when macs crash it's because some hardware device failed since there aren't too many pieces of software that apple doesn't make for macs. Don't think that this makes a case for apple making software, they honestly have a long way to go before they're a serious company in that market. They should learn that security fixes are free, not the next version of the product. Oh, did I mention the automatic deleting itunes songs with itunes 7?

Guess windows and macs have there issues. All operating systems do, however before throwing stones about one being better than the other, maybe they should both be used in real world environments. I can't think of an fortune 500 company that uses macs as there main PC's, can you?
Posted by ron williams (34 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why Read all That?
...Whom ever it may concern!

Don't bother reading the post I am replying to.. All it states is
Apple users are stupid because Itunes 7 has bugs.. Great
contribution bubbly..

Honestly go preach your crap somewhere else.. Mac fans
support apple to the extent they do because it is actually just
that great! Is it that hard for windows users to fathom?
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Link Flag
"An additional thought of mine is, why is apple using a manufacturer that has windows computers? I thought mac was so much better, seems the manufacturer did not think the same was true."

Being as this occurred in Asia - land of piracy, anyone want to take bets on whether the Windows PC was even properly licensed, let alone securly patched?
Maybe MS should respond with a full audit of all Apple manufacturing lines and slap them with a hefty fine for non-compliance.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Link Flag
The unaddressed issue...
is that approximately 10% of the computer-using populace evidently don't mind paying at least double, if not triple, for the machines and OSes that they use.

By extrapolation, one may safely make the deduction that Apple users have more money than brains.
Posted by dragonfly8610 (49 comments )
Link Flag
MS Not Responsible for Apple's Gross Incompetence
Leave it to Apple, to try and Microsoft, for their own gross incompetence.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ok this the great totally post cool incompetence? ;) We don't blame
Microworks.. We blame C|net for the crappy title of the article.. and
we retort that it's not apples fault either.. For the love of god it was
a windows virus!
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Link Flag
What does it matter?
If those people run Windows they already have a slew of viruses on
their machine anyway!!!
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
funny comment :) ...
not always true; I have an antivirus program and no viruses in the last 5 years on my Windows desktop
Posted by goodnews1000 (12 comments )
Link Flag
haha that made my day.. was not expecting to read that..lol
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Link Flag
funny comment :)
just that I had my Windows desktop for five years and no virus on it! I am using a small antivirus program thou!
Posted by goodnews1000 (12 comments )
Link Flag
I think u only know people who watch porn and install every activeX control they find on Internet. I am using windowsXP since it was released and it didn't bothered more than a couple of times.
Posted by kallu_be (6 comments )
Link Flag
ID10T V2
Got some news for you friend... I ran a totally naked, unprotected machine on a wide open broadband connection for 2.5 YEARS before I got a single virus.
Then I simple patched the machine and threw up a linksys router.
Other machines have never had a virus.

So if you or your cohorts are running dirty machines, it definitely reflects on you, not the OS.
"If you shag the hag and don't wear a bag - you're gonna get dirty."
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Link Flag
Time to change the broken record
Geez, another Mac VS Windows blast in just about every post. Every one that is pro Mac has stated one and only one message: You should buy Mac because security in the other OS sux.

Typical "vote for me because my opponent sux" attitude. I'm not buying it.... and it's the same message "buy Mac because security in the other OS sux." I have supported Mac as a good OS but I'm sick and tired of hearing macboy central with the same broken record. Never anything new, just the same post over and over again by Macboy central. Perhaps its time for a rebutal broken record...

You should buy Microsoft Windows because Mac will only run 2 out of the 20 top games. Once you try Windows, you'll never go back. Mac sux and everyone knows it.

Lame, huh? I think the same of the macboy one. Considering I've never had a virus on my Windows, I'd say the security is good and not nearly as bad as what the macboys make it out to be. I tried both, made my choice and I'm enjoying it. BTW, I am also enjoying all these cool games that are available.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why do people think that such attacks work? Most of all ad hominem attacks on Windows users. They certainly don't on me. All you end up doing is making Windows users defensive and angry.
Posted by Xpheyel (32 comments )
Link Flag
Mac User Agrees... Mostly
The broken record of insults does need changing, by both
Windows and Mac users. When people spread the same tired
(and sometimes false) garbage over and over and never examine
the other side's evidence before disagreeing, no one gains

Believe it or not, there are lots of people who couldn't care less
about games. Many of them use Mac OS X. I use both Mac OS X
and Windows. I like OS X better. End of story.

Have a nice day!
Posted by lesfilip (496 comments )
Link Flag
Windows User
At least I don't have iCrap so far up my ass that it's rotting and giving me cancer. Please, before you insult 98% of the world try looking at what your iCult's own problems are. I at least admit that Windows breeds a culture of computer immaturity and has many security holes. However, recomending we all go out and buy Apple products is not the answer as all the viruses would come to your precious iPlatform. Also, I prefer to build my own computers, which at the moment is not possible with apple. Finally, what say you regarding gaming? You may be able to edit photos easily and hold webcam chats, but the game selection on mac is far and few between, which is why I'll never get a mac nor be able to use Linux as my primary OS.
Posted by Corrupt_Data (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dir *.exe* = 1,000,000,000 Found!
1. I respect you're icomment!
2. Crap does come from *****.. just incase you didn't know!
3. Icult? Is Christianity a cult? Is Buddhism a Cult? Judaism a Cult?...
Yes they are.. Is that term suppose to offend us?
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Link Flag
any clues to that
so 5 percent use Apples - CNET should cringe at a boycot from that lot? ROTFLMAO
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Reply Link Flag
5% eh?
I guess you're right.. I forgot that you did the study on the users of
C|net and what OS they use... Did you also do the statistics one?
That 95% of all of them are false?
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Link Flag
exactly speaking
its 3.78%.
Posted by kallu_be (6 comments )
Link Flag
Can you build your own mac? No...

Oh, but you have a good selection of games, right? Oh wait... also no. I know, lets all go play Cro-Mag Ralley and HaloPC!
Posted by Corrupt_Data (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ok Corrupt Data..lol Irony Anyone?
yes we can build our own Macs

Games? We are grown ups man? We use computers to design/code
and learn.. No to just have fun.. For that we play chess.. Ichess
comes on every mac...

Doom3 - Wow - UT04-All - Quake 4 - BF2.. Wait all windows
games work on Mac's via Windows using fast user switching.. If you
really are a big game fan there is no limitations..
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Link Flag
Ok Corrupt_Data - Irony anyone?
Yes we can build our own Macs <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://store.apple.com/1-800-" target="_newWindow">http://store.apple.com/1-800-</a>

Games? We are grown ups man? We use computers to design/
and learn.. No to just have fun.. For that we play chess.. Ichess
comes on every mac...

Doom3 - Wow - UT04-All - Quake 4 - BF2.. Wait all windows
games work on Mac's via Windows using fast user switching.. If
really are a big game fan there is no limitations..
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Link Flag
Who cares to blame? It is about the virus...
So this topic is basically picking an argument between Mac and
Windows users to blame someone for this? Go ahead Windows
users and blame Apple, and Mac users can blame Microsoft. But
in the end companies do make mistakes. Apple isnt perfect and
acknowledges their mistakes. Microsoft makes tons of mistakes

The main point here is that who ever gets blammed for it really
doesnt matter because it comes down to this single virus.
A virus that exists on Windows and Windows alone. So Windows
users can't really blame Apple for the fact that viruses exist on
their computers but Apple will say sorry this happened anyway.

Notice no Mac user is even remotely upset about this whole
ordeal. This is because in no way does this affect them. I am not
saying screw everyone else, but at least everyone else (Windows
users) should be open to something that won't screw you over
(the Mac).

Windows users should think about buying a computer that will
not have problems like this ever again. As a user of both in my
life I have truely discoverd the light of Apple and what makes
them superior. Do not fear the change and you will thankful in
the end.
Posted by epolieboy (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Fund me the money.
Mac's are all upwards of $1500 USD here.
Until this changes, most people aren't going to 'see the light'.

And Windows users aren't blaming Apple (or the manufacturer) for a specific virus existing on Windows; they're blaming it on the manufacturer for having malicious code on a mass produced, popular, expensive product.

Let's say that a large amount of Office discs (for Mac) were released with a virus that hurt Mac's (yes, yes, there aren't really any, but that's not the point). Would you blame Apple for having the ability for a virus to be made/used on the computer, or would you blame Windows for shipping it with their product?
Posted by Tomcat Adam (272 comments )
Link Flag
I can't say I agree that the ONLY reason it is more secure is because
of its marketshare. And it is exceeding 12 percent now by the way.
So it is definitly on the rise because people are seeing what they
are made of and all the old myths of Macs are fading away.

Besides, who gives a s*** if Apple is blaming Microsoft, does this
hurt your feelings? All I care is that I have a quality computer that
won't fail me. You obviously are upset about something...I wonder
Posted by epolieboy (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Amac Brother.. - We are a cult let's act like it!
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Link Flag
Where did you get that 12% figure?
Do you have a link? This is the best site I've found on market share data: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=2" target="_newWindow">http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=2</a>

-Mister Winky
Posted by Mister Winky (301 comments )
Link Flag
That's what I see at work
At my work (academia), Macs represent ~20% of all client OS machines. MacBooks are very popular, especially among students. That said, Mac desktops don't sell much at all.

I keep a closer eye on Apple's financial statements than their keynotes. My understanding is that Mac laptops are selling very well, but Mac desktops are not selling as well as years past.

I have a MacMini and 2 test machines, so I use both, but I still prefer the Windows platform for a vast majority of my work. Some people around here find that hard to believe, but it is a highly educated choice. FWIW, I work in IT, I also use Linux frequently and my first computer was an Apple IIe (which I still have).

The best chance for me to buy a Mac is if I can use a MacMini as a media hub and DVR for an HD system. Given the pre-announcement of the new HW product next year, there's a chance. Still, Vista's "Media Edition" functionality also looks very good.

-Mister Winky
Posted by Mister Winky (301 comments )
Reply Link Flag
it does look good
yes vista does look good, the visual effect are nice. the requirments
to run it are not however. you need 1 gig or ram to run it, that is
just recockulous. you need a fraction of that for tiger and you still
get the goodies
Posted by epolieboy (14 comments )
Link Flag
desktop boom in the future
i think that mac desktops will boom later on. right now college kids
need laptops and they are picking up the best ones, macbooks and
macbook pros. why? because they here good things, but the key for
them is they run windows and os x. when the students here they
run both systems they say "ok, i'll try it cause if i don't like it i still
have windows". most people end up liking it more than they
thought. Soon comes a need for a desktop down the road. where
do they go? to the imac.. apple is on the rise, we should be happy,
in fact, they did give us the mouse
Posted by epolieboy (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What they use at work matters, too
I agree that Apple should hang on to long-term market share gains if they play their cards right, though it'll be a while before they get into double digits (if ever).

It's difficult to admit, but the computers people use at work influence what they buy at home, and very few companies outside of the media/advertising/creative/graphics industries use Macs widely across their enterprise.

I know of a local employer that had thousands of Macs in the late '80s and early '90s, but they're over 90% PC now.

-Mister Winky
Posted by Mister Winky (301 comments )
Link Flag
more clues needed
so when you run windows on an Apple-made intel computer - is it a Mac? If it gets a virus in it swindows partition, who do you blame?
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
Apple innocent?
How do they come through unscathed? They say they traced it to a windows machine and blame it on microsoft but the fact remains that they sold infected IPods. So how do they sound so innocent?
Posted by embre (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
u r wrong
Microsoft shipped a lot of versions after windows xp released in sep 2001.
for the list
Win XP SP1
Win XP SP2
Windows 2003 server
Windows xp 64 bit
Windows 2003 64bit
Windows media center editions 2004 and 2005

i think u know that xbox 360 runs on IBM processors and the operating system used is based on windows 2003. The XBOX development kits Microsoft supplied to the game developers are mac pro's with Microsoft operating system (i think) or just mac version of "direct X".

I think u had to know that current "Macos X" are based on open-bsd kernel and its open source. The top X layer is apple property. I don't think apple has resources to develop operating system from scratch in less that 2 years.
Posted by kallu_be (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
no, you are wrong
osx was derived from darwin, not openbsd.
Posted by c87339 (1 comment )
Link Flag
actually i am replying to this comment
"Ok.. Port Windows to the IBM processor ... Get back to me in a million years when you finnish.. They did that in 2 months to x86..."
This is the first time i am posting ... will take care from the next time
Posted by kallu_be (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Stop watching porn on the assembly line
How else would a virus get on a manufacturing computer? And why the heck aren't they using Macs in the production of iPods?
Posted by iBuzz (330 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why? Probably because . . .
iBuzz asked:
"And why the heck aren't they using Macs in the production of

Probably because the iPod &#38; iTunes work not only with [Macs/OSX]
but also with [PC's/Windows].

You need to test the products on both platforms.
Posted by K.P.C. (227 comments )
Link Flag
proves that no one gives
HAHA, yea this is something that was bound to happen, their are to few mac users out there so in simple tearms they would rather hack a mac product to infect a PC, Its not that macs are safe cause they have no security holes, no no no its the other way around they have security holes its just there isn't enough of them out there for any programmer to want to creat a virus for them they would rather use their security holes to get a Windows based machines security holes, maybe this will bring about a trend of people who start to see that MACs real are the Fisher-Price MY first PC, and their slanderious advertizing was only true 15 years ago and isn't really true any more.
Posted by igomersall (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
im a PC; im a ipod (nickname virus)
PCs may get more viruses, but my Zen Vision M sure doesn't have one.
Posted by tcardone05 (44 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Actually, Creative did ship a virus in Japan
Heard it on an Engadget podcast about six months ago.
Posted by dotmike (154 comments )
Link Flag
Actually, Creative did ship a virus in Japan
Heard it on an Engadget podcast about six months ago.

It happens. Shouldn't happen, and what the hell is a factory PC
doing with non-standard software anyway, but it happens
Posted by dotmike (154 comments )
Link Flag
I just find it funny that they use PCs to make Apple products. Classic. The irony is astounding.
Posted by a85 (104 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Windows 95 logo was made with Freehand on a Mac
Boom cha!
Posted by dotmike (154 comments )
Link Flag
No, Apple, that's not the correct way to handle it
First, you admit the screwup and take responsibility for it and do
not blame your contractor. We buy iPods from you, not

Second, you post detailed instructions on your web site on how
to check for any possible signs of the virus/worm.

Third, you provide a free download of a utility to scan and
remove said worm. Not everyone runs anti-virus software: if
someone uses Firefox and never downloads anything or collects
email, or doesn't even use the internet on their music computer
(maybe it's a home theater etc) there's little reason to.

Fourth, you do not take the opportunity to take a jibe at the
virus situation of Windows. Yes, we know Windows is targeted
by viruses, BECAUSE OVER 95% OF PEOPLE USE IT. If Mac ever
scraped into more than a miniscule marketshare, you'd get the
same situation. There are no Mac viruses because there is no
Mac market, so to speak.

Fifth, if anyone has received any data damage from your
negligence, prepare to open your checkbook... *cough* class
action lawsuit *cough*
Posted by dotmike (154 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I totally agree, dotmike!
There is a certain ettiquette for handling such embarassing screw-ups. By ignoring it, Apple displays an incredible arrogance and ignorance. Their response is in very bad taste!
Posted by godam_registration (113 comments )
Link Flag

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