Malware in pre-infected PCs `did not originate in factories`, says

Malware in pre-infected PCs 'did not originate in factories', says Microsoft

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 20, 2012 13:33 hrs

New computers, still under development in factories, are not being infected with malware in their production lines contrary to earlier media reports, Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit has confirmed.

Earlier, several media outlets, including the BBC, reported that harmful software was being pre-installed on PCs at the manufacturing stage.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said the malware was instead likely added by a "distributor, transporter, or reseller", the BBC reports.

The viruses were previously discovered when Microsoft's digital crime investigators bought 20 PCs, 10 desktops and 10 laptops from different cities in China, out of which four were infected with malicious programs even though they were fresh from the factory.

Nitol was the most pernicious of the viruses Microsoft caught because, as soon as the computer was turned on, it tried to contact the command and control system set up by Nitol's makers to steal data from infected machines.

The company's investigations led them to a domain name,, which was believed to have been running 500 separate strains of malware to fool victims or steal data, the report said.

A U.S. court has now given Microsoft permission to seize control of the web domain,, which it claims is involved with the Nitol infections. (ANI)

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