‘Turn left in 50 yards – you have a virus’

Of all the devices you can use, the last one you’d think would have a virus would be a satnav system.

Of all the devices you can use, the last one you’d think would have a virus would be a satnav system.

If so, think again, because TomTom International has admitted that some of its latest GO 910 devices have been shipped with a virus pre-installed.

The infected systems were all manufactured during a one-week period around October 2006, TomTom confirmed in a statement on its website.

The affected systems, which are running version 6.51 of the TomTom software, will try to copy the malicious software to a PC when connected.

TomTom rated the malware as "low risk" and said it does not affect the navigation performance of the TomTom GO 910 in any way. The virus can be removed safely with virus scanning software, the company added.

One of the files, called Backdoor.Win32.Small.lo, uses the Windows AutoRun feature to try and make Windows run the other malicious software on the device, once it has been connected to the PC.

This takes some believing – that satnav systems could have a virus. But it might explain that last time you took a turning and finished up at a dead-end. Bearing in mind the popularity of these systems, and the potential for directional chaos, let’s hope TomTom now stays virus-free. Not so much social engineering, as directional engineering, I guess.

Read David Lacey’s security blog

Read Stuart King’s risk management blog

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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