TomTom Pulls Windows Malware into AutosBy Matt Hines | Posted 2007-01-31 Email Print
By including at least two Windows viruses in its navigation software, the company may have created automotive and malware history, confirming long-held questions about the security of car-borne computer systems.
The long-running joke about cars breaking down and getting infected by viruses if they ran on Microsoft software appears to have grown closer to reality, as navigation device maker TomTom has admitted the inclusion of two Windows malware variants in one of its products.
On Jan. 29, TomTom, which is based in Amsterdam, conceded that an isolated number of its Go 910 navigation systems may have been infected with Windows malware. According to the company, the viruses, identified by security researchers including F-Secure as the Perlovga.a and Small.qp threats, do not affect the navigation performance of the handhelds.
TomTom reported that the viruses, both of which are considered by researchers to be low risk in nature, found their way into the navigation systems as they were being produced during the fourth quarter of 2006. Company officials did not immediately return calls seeking further details of the incident.
Despite the fact that the Windows viruses pose no known threat to the navigation device, which actually runs on a Linux-based operating system, experts highlighted the landmark nature of the event, as people have been predicting for years that the security issues rampant on PCs would eventually find their way into cars as more and more information technology applications are integrated into vehicles.
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