The following blog entry is by Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc., a computer forensics and legal technology firm in Fairfax, VA.
It was only a matter of time. Give criminals a vulnerability and they will exploit it. Actually, I am amazed that it has taken this long for computers to be infected while being manufactured. And the place of the wrongdoing? You will be shocked - shocked - to hear that it is China.
BBC News reported on a Microsoft study which revealed that the Nitol virus, used to gain access to a user's bank account, had been inserted in brand new computers as they were manufactured in China. The Microsoft investigators also found malware which was capable of remotely turning on an infected computer's microphone and video camera. Obviously this would allow cybercrminals to snoop on your activities at home or at work. Scary stuff.
There is a clear takeaway here. When new computers are deployed, they should be scanned immediately for malware before they are actually used. We have implemented this policy for all of our clients and you should too. Make sure your IT folks are aware of this new danger.