Malware shipped on TomTom GO satellite navigation devices

Sophos has reminded users of the necessity to run up-to-date anti-virus software as new reports reveal that a number of TomTom GO 910 satellite navigation devices for car drivers have been shipped with malware pre-installed.

An internet posting by British technology journalist Davey Winder contains a statement by the makers of the dashboard-mounted SatNav units acknowledging the incident, although at the time of writing there is no advisory on TomTom’s website. According to Sophos, TomTom SatNav devices are Linux-based, and cannot be infected by the malware. However, Windows users who connect to the device via their USB port risk running the malicious code and infecting their desktop computers.

“There are a number of postings on the internet from TomTom purchasers asking for advice about the viruses, going back as far as September 2006,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “But they are the lucky ones who were running an anti-virus product and caught the infection before it could cause too much harm. What’s more worrying is that there may be many innocent consumers out there who are unaware they have passed an infection onto their Windows PC.”

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