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Aussie ALDI withdraws infected greybox offering

Multifunction hard drives hotching with Conficker

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The Australian branch of supermarket chain ALDI has withdrawn a range of hard drives from its stores following the discovery that the hardware was infected with malware.

The affected device – a grey-label external 4-in-1 hard drive, DVD, USB and card reader device – has reportedly been pulled from shelves, though it is still listed on Aldi's website.

The product recall follows the discovery of components of the infamous Conficker on examples of the kit sold in Queensland, according to an alert by Australia's Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT) issued on Thursday.

The Conficker worm first appeared in November 2008, causing all sorts of disruption because of its aggressive spreading techniques. Victims included Australian banking and transport operations.

The malware was probably introduced to the 4-in-1 hard drive by infected machines in the factory producing the kit. Mishaps of this type are by no means unusual. Previous examples include IBM distributing pre-infected USB keys, pre-infected Android phones from Vodafone Spain and pre-infected PCs from Aldi. The latter mishap, which dates back to 2007, involved the Angelina boot-sector virus, as explained in a blog post by Sophos from the time here. ®

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