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Olympus apologises after shipping malware-laced cameras in Japan

Pre-pwned snappers lay waste to home PCs

Olympus has apologised after it distributed a digital camera in Japan that came with added malware on its internal memory card.

An estimated 1,700 Stylus Tough 6010 digital compact cameras shipped pre-pwned with auto-run code designed to infect Windows PCs they were connected to, net security firm Sophos reports. The malware uses a USB connection infection route that has become one of the most popular means of malware distribution in recent years.

Olympus has apologised for the problem and promised to improve its quality control procedures to prevent future outbreaks. The incident is the latest in a long line of digital devices that come pre-infected with malware. Recent examples include Samsung Wave phones shipped in Germany, TomTom satellite navigation devices and Apple Video iPods. Last month IBM handed out malware-ridden USB sticks at a security conference in Australia.

These infestations normally start with an infected PC on production lines or testing rigs used by gadget manufacturers and their partners. Suppliers need to apply improved quality controls to minimise embarrassing digital device incidents. Meanwhile consumers are advised to disable Autorun in Windows, as a guard against possible attacks. ®

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