Some Digital Photo Frames Sold at Best Buy During Holidays Contain Virus
If you bought a 10.4-inch Insignia-branded photo frame with model number NS-DPF-10A from Best Buy during the holidays, then beware: The device may come with a virus that can infect Windows-based computers.
Best Buy has taken all the remaining Insignia-branded frames off its store shelves and has discontinued producing them. According to the Insignia Web site, "this is an older virus which is easily identified and removed by current anti-virus software." The company is also providing telephone support for any consumers concerned they have one of the infected frames at 1-877-467-4289.
(Note: Insignia is a brand name created and owned by Best Buy to create several lines of consumer electronics products for distribution through its stores. This is similar to store brands of other types that consumers typically see in everything from grocery stores to auto parts dealers.)
This isn't the first time a consumer electronics product comes installed with a little something malicious that the consumer wasn't counting on. GPS maker TomTom found out the hard way in late 2006 that a batch of its GO 910 units were infected at the factory level with a virus. And even the beloved iPod hasn't been immune, with an incident also in late 2006 where a collection of its 5.5-gigabyte MP3 players sprung up with a virus that was inserted at the manufacturing point. (That virus only infected Windows machines, as well.)
How does this happen? Typically, it's not the work of some nefarious factory employee who wants to sabotage a product line. Instead, the people who work at these manufacturing points are just as susceptible as the rest of us to mistakenly downloading a virus onto their work computers. This virus then replicates itself and ultimately makes its way onto one of the computers that is tasked with setting up the consumer electronics products destined for store shelves.
Both Apple and TomTom stated at the time that they were reviewing their manufacturing processes to prevent this from happening again and issued warnings and advice to consumers, just as Best Buy and Insignia are doing now.
Best Buy has not issued a recall of the photo frames. Since the flaw is (apparently) easy to correct, we don't think a panic is forthcoming -- or necessary.
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