Microsoft: Malware is being pre-installed in factories in China

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Elaine Thompson/AP
Elaine Thompson/AP

Here’s a terrifying report: Microsoft said that it has found malware pre-installed on four of 20 brand new desktop and laptop PCs they bought for testing counterfeit software. Among the nasties they found pre-installed in the PCs were Nitol, a particularly nasty strain of computer virus that infects a users PC and makes it part of a bot-net. Bot-nets, for the uninitiated, are a collection of PCs whose security protocols have been bypassed and are used by a malicious third party to conduct denial-of-service-attacks on websites. What makes it worse is that all of the 20 desktops and laptops were all running counterfeit versions of Windows.

Thankfully, most of the PCs that had the malware baked right in were sold in China, where pretty much anything goes in regards to electronics. Still, you should exercise caution when buying your notebook PC, which usually means you should always buy your PC from a trusted manufacturer. If a deal is too good to be true, then it probably is.

Source: The Guardian