Microsoft discovers PCs with built-in virus

14.09.2012 - 16:16

PC production lines are the new front for cybercriminals in the battle for infect computers. A recent study made by Microsoft, revealed that several new PCs have been found carrying malware installed in the factory.

Microsoft bought twenty PCs, ten desktops and ten laptops in different Chinese cities and discovered that four of them were infected with the same virus, called Nitol, which was designed to steal personal details to help criminals use online bank accounts.

The four viruses were included in false software when some Chinese PC makers were installing on computers. Now, the American company has obtained a permission from a US court to tackle the network of 500 hijacked PCs (botnet) made from Nitol-infected computers.

Besides, the investigation revealed that the botnet was being run from a web domain that had been involved in cybercrime since 2008. "We found malware capable of remotely turning on an infected computer's microphone and video camera, potentially giving a cybercriminal eyes and ears into a victim's home or business," said Richard Boscovich, a lawyer in Microsoft's digital crimes unit.

Peng Yong, one of the owners of infected domains, told AP that he wasn't aware about this investigation and added that his company had a "zero tolerance" attitude towards illegal activity on the domain. However he added that due to the big number of domains the company has (2.85 million) they "cannot exclude that individual users might be using domain names for malicious purposes.”