Apple says shipped iPods carrying virus

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NEW YORK -- Some of Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod digital music players shipped in the past month carry a computer virus, according to a posting on Apple's technical support Web site.

Apple said since Sept. 12, less than 1% of Video iPods -- the pocket-sized devices that can play music files and video clips -- left the company's contract manufacturer carrying the virus RavMonE.exe. The virus affects computers running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system.

"So far we have seen less than 25 reports concerning this problem. The iPod nano, iPod shuffle and Mac OS X are not affected, and all Video iPods now shipping are virus free," the company said on the site.

An Apple spokesman declined to name the contract manufacturer or specify how many iPods were affected.

Apple said the virus can be detected and removed using many popular anti-virus software programs. It said that Microsoft and Apple shared the blame for shipping the virus.

"As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it," Apple said on its Web site.

Microsoft fired back in a statement, saying the virus does not appear to take advantage of a Windows vulnerability.

"We encourage all third party vendors to follow best practices and help protect their users regardless of platform through careful scanning of the software they ship, so that they do not expose their customers to unnecessary risk from malicious software," the company said.
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