Seagate ships virus-laden hard drives

Seagate says that a small number of Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 hard drives have shipped with a virus.

If you bought one of Seagate's Maxtor Basics consumer hard drives recently, check it for viruses. Especially if you're a gamer.

Seagate is warning that a "small number" of its Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 hard drives recently shipped with the Virus.Win32.AutoRun.ah virus, malicious software that "searches for passwords for online games and sends them to a server located in China," according to a note posted on the Seagate Web site. Only drives purchased since August 2007 are affected, Seagate said.

The hard drive maker is blaming an unnamed subcontractor, located in China, for the problem. Seagate said it learned about the problem from antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab. According to published reports, Seagate has had problems with Maxtor Basics drives sold over the past few months in the Netherlands and Taipei.

On Monday, the Taipei Times reported that Taiwanese distributor Xander International had discovered that 1,800 Maxtor Basics 500G-byte hard drives were affected, all manufactured in Thailand.

When contacted by IDG News Service on Monday, Seagate offered few additional details on the problem, except to say that it was investigating the cause of the infection and that it was offering a 60-day free trial of Kaspersky's anti-virus software through the Seagate Web site. "The trial version of the Kaspersky anti-virus software is capable of identifying and removing the virus," spokesman Forrest Monroy said via e-mail.

The virus scans the hard drive for password information on World of Warcraft as well as a number of Chinese games such as QQ, WSGame, and AskTao, Seagate said.

Trend Micro researcher Paul Ferguson said that while the password-collecting servers may appear to be located in China, they are actually located in Dallas and Korea.

Customers can contact Seagate customer support to find out if their particular drive is infected.

This isn't the first time that subcontractors have been blamed for virus infections on storage media. A year ago, Apple shipped a number of Video iPod systems infected with a virus. The company blamed a contract manufacturer for the problem.

Security experts say that it's easy for this kind of thing to happen, if one PC in the testing, manufacturing and quality assurance chain is infected. In the iPod video case, the hard drives were infected with Windows-based virus.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?