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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Windows virus bites Apple iPods
McDonalds sign, AFP/Getty
A Windows virus was also found on a McDonalds MP3 player
Apple is warning that some video iPods are harbouring a Windows virus.

In a statement on its website Apple said that a small number of video iPods sold after 12 September are carrying the RavMonE virus.

The company said that, so far, it had seen "less than 25 reports" of the problem affecting users.

In a similar incident McDonalds Japan has recalled MP3 players it gave away after finding they were infected with a nasty spyware program.

Bite back

In its statement announcing the discovery, Apple said that less than 1% of video iPods sold after 12 September were despatched with the virus onboard.

The RavMonE virus will only activate if an infected iPod is used on a Windows PC. Apple said up to date anti-virus should spot the malicious program and stop it causing problems.

Apple said the virus got on to the gadgets via a Windows PC in the manufacturing line of one company that makes iPods.

Anti-virus firm Sophos said there was confusion about exactly which virus was onboard the iPods.

"There are a number of different pieces of malware which use a file called RavMonE.exe," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, "so we don't know at the moment precisely which trojan horse or virus may have been shipped."

The virus in question could be part of the RJump virus family which tries to steal information and open a back door into an infected PC.

In a related incident McDonalds Japan has been forced to recall some MP3 players given away as prizes that were infected with some spyware.

About 10,000 people are thought to have been sent the MP3 players that had onboard a copy of the QQPass spyware program that logs keystrokes and sends data back to criminal hackers.

A phone line has been set up to help those who have fallen victim. The spyware is thought to have been present on a machine used to download data to the flash memory MP3 players before they were sent out to prize-winners.

The music playing gadgets were given away in a joint promotion with Coca-Cola.

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