You can add to the growing list of things you need to do to keep your computer safe -- scan the digital picture frame.
Best Buy has confirmed that some units of its Insignia 10.4-inch Digital Picture Frame, purchased over the holidays, had a computer virus. Last weekend, the retailer noted an advisory from its private label, Insignia, which stated that "a limited number" of the frames, model number NS-DPF-10A, were "contaminated with a computer virus during the manufacturing process."
According to news reports, Best Buy is not recalling the frames, but it has pulled the remaining units. It said this was the only Insignia frame product affected, and the product has been discontinued.
The company said that once it was informed of the contamination, it "immediately" withdrew the product from stores and Web sites "as a precautionary measure to protect our customers." Best Buy did note that "some affected units" were purchased from either its brick-and-mortar stores or from the retailer's Web site before the virus was detected.
Best Buy reportedly learned of the infection after customer complaints, but there is no indication of how the virus was acquired during manufacturing, or what the consequences may have been for customers.
The company pointed out that the virus can only get to a computer if the digital frame is connected. The frames connect to PCs as well as cameras so photos can be downloaded for display. But Best Buy said cameras, USB drives and memory cards cannot be infected by the virus.
Use Up-to-Date Protection
Even if a consumer does attach a contaminated frame to a computer via a USB cable, Best Buy said, any up-to-date antivirus software, such as Norton, McAfee or Trend Micro, should be able to detect and remove the infection. It added that the units contained "an older virus which is easily identified and removed by current antivirus software."
The specific virus was not identified by either Best Buy or the manufacturer, although there are reports on the Web that it was a Trojan that could induce a crash on Windows machines.
Macintosh-owning picture lovers can rejoice, at least temporarily, because the virus only affects Windows operating systems. Similarly, Linux-based systems are also immune to this particular infection.
Virus-infected products may be the next frontier for consumer caution.
Last year, Seagate admitted that some of its 500-GB Maxtor hard drives had a Trojan house that could swipe online passwords for games, and some Apple iPods were infected with a virus in 2006. Other consumer products that have reportedly had viruses include GPS devices, digital cameras, memory cards, MP3 players and other brands of digital picture frames.