It is nothing new for a person to buy a PC and finding a number of new features. With the passage of time, retailers have become more cautious and throw in security software to appease the customers. After all, there is nothing more threatening to the average PC user than to have his/her PC attacked by malware. However, it has been discovered that most personal computers from now on will come with something else – pre-installed malware.
Infected from the Outset
This is not some gossip or hearsay but it has been discovered by Microsoft that some of their new PCs that had just been taken out of their boxes, already contained malware. During the initial booting process, researchers saw the emergence of the malware. The discovery of the pre-installed malware in PCs was made in China.
To make sure the problem is nipped in the bud, Microsoft has already filed a suit against a domain based in China. The type of malware that has been uncovered shows that the new PCs were compromised from the domain 3322.org. As expected, the website turned out to be some sort of malware house, with over 500 types of malware hosted on it. According to a leading newspaper, this is the biggest collection of malware discovered in one place by Microsoft ever.
The Implications for Users
The average user can try his/her best to counter the threats their computer faces from malware and other issues. However, if the malware is present from the outset and they don’t get a chance to counter its installation, it is a different story altogether. Since the anti-malware programs can only be installed once the initial booting and loading is done, it gives the malware a head-start and the chance to take hold of the PC.
An even bigger problem is the location of the malware. For instance, the malware that is evident from the start can be dealt with using security software. The issue arises if the malware has been installed at the very core of the system. The deeper the malware is, the more difficult it would be for an anti-malware program to detect and remove it.
Malware is Big Business
There is no doubt that there is big money to be made from cyber crime and malware is one of its largest components. The criminals keep on thinking of new ways to target the average users and make money. They do it either through developing new malware or by having it installed in new PCs, tablets and smartphones. That way, the buyer is in for a rude shock when he turns the device on after purchasing it.
As a consumer, you can do well to buy your PCs from reputable retailers and vendors. Most people try to save a few bucks on a new computer by ordering one online. While it does help them save some green, it exposes them to the risk of buying one with pre-installed malware. So, be careful or the money you spend could go down the drain.
[ Image via Warner Brothers]