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Chinese Malware slips in hard drive

Seagate has confirmed that roughly around 1800 external hard disk drives have been contaminated with a pre-install Trojan horse named AutoRun-AH.

Kaspersky Labs was the original whistleblower back in September according to the Register, although the hard drive manufacturer dismissed it as an isolated occurrence.

However, a couple of weeks later, Seagate issued a warning to owners of the Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 peripheral.

Seagate has traced this issue to a small number of units produced by a Maxtor sub-contract manufacturer located in China and quickly put a stop ship to units leaving the facility as soon as the company learned of the probable infection.

All units now leaving the facility in question have been cleared of the virus and units in inventory are being reworked before being released for sale.

However, some affected units have been sold to the public before the problem was detected.

The virus looks for passwords for World of Warcraft and online Chinese games and sends them to a server located in China.

It also deletes other viruses and can disable antivirus software.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.