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TomTom includes Trojans with satnav device

Mickey included for no added fee

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A small number of satellite navigation devices manufactured last year by TomTom were shipped containing malware, the company confirmed in a terse statement that raised more questions - and user ire - than answers.

An "isolated, small number" of TomTom's GO 910 models produced in September and November may be infected with a virus, TomTom warned, following a report over the weekend that one of the company's satnav devices packaged two separate Trojans at no charge. They included the win32.Perlovga.A and TR/Drop.Small.qp Trojans, which were stowed away within the copy.exe and host.exe files.

TomTom's advisory rates the malware as low-risk and says users should update their virus scanner's definitions and let it at the wayward satnav device.

According to the report, posted by tech journalist Davey Winder, the Trojans were included on the hard drive of 910 models running version 6.51 of TomTom's software. As of the writing of this article, security providers hadn't provided an independent assessment of the payload.

Sophos, however, reminded readers that TomTom's blunder was only the latest example of a vendor slipping its customers an electronic mickey. Other examples, according to Sophos, included Apple video iPods that shipped last year with the Troj/Bdoor-DIJ Trojan horse and a Japanese subsidiary of McDonald's that shipped MP3 players containing spyware.

TomTom has yet to issue an apology, explanation of how the malware managed to come factory installed or what steps the company is taking to ensure such nasties are not included in future releases.

"Customers that do not have virus scanning software are advised to install virus scanning software," TomTom said. Until then, please keep your eyes on the road and ignore the porn pop ups. ®

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