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1/24/2008
05:20 PM
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Best Buy Sold Infected Digital Picture Frames

The 10.4-inch digital picture frames were sold under the Insignia brand and can potentially affect Windows users.

Insignia pulled a line of 10.4-inch digital picture frames from Best Buy stores and its Web sites this week after learning some had been infected with a computer virus during the manufacturing process.

"Once informed, we immediately pulled all units of this product from stores and retail Web sites as a precautionary measure to protect our customers," explains a statement on the Insignia Web site. "This product has been discontinued, and no additional inventory will be sold. Please note that no other Insignia digital picture frame products are affected by this issue."

Best Buy on Saturday said that a limited number of 10.4-inch digital picture frames sold under its Insignia brand were infected with a computer virus during the manufacturing processes. The statement says that some of the infected units (model number NS-DPF-10A) were sold through Best Buy before the issue was known.

The virus doesn't appear to be particularly virulent because, according to Best Buy, "it is easily identified and removed by current antivirus software." Unlike more sophisticated malware, the virus apparently cannot spread to other USB-connected devices, such as digital cameras. The virus has the potential to affect Windows users who connect an infected digital picture frame to their computer; Mac OS X and Linux users are immune to this particular strain.

Noting that not every digital picture frame carries the virus, Best Buy spokesperson Nissa French said that so far about two dozen people had called the customer support line (1-877-467-4289) for those with questions about their digital picture frames. She was unable to immediately provide information about where the Insignia unit was manufactured, the circumstances under which the virus had been introduced during the manufacturing process, or which contract manufacturing company, if any, assembled Insignia's goods.

"We're still in the middle of our investigation," said French, echoing an update on the status of the investigation posted on the Insignia Web site on Wednesday.

When the Consumer Electronics Show began in early January, the SANS Internet Storm Center published several anecdotal reports of USB flash drives and digital picture frames infected with malware.

Security researchers have been paying more attention recently to portable devices as an attack vector. While they don't view such items as a likely source for major malware outbreaks, they acknowledge their potential for disruptive pranks and targeted attacks.

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