Another story to go into the “strange but true” category is that a small number of recently-produced Apple Video iPods are harbouring a little virus that affects Windows.
The virus – which has been named by Apple as the RavMonE.exe – copies itself on to the PC and portable devices hooked up to it.
Apple's statement says that less than 1% of the iPods available to buy after 12 September were infected, and that it's seen less than 25 reports about it. Other iPod models are unaffected.
Apple also says: “As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it”.
According to Apple VP Greg Joswiak, who spoke to CNET News.com, the virus could be “traced to a particular Windows machine in the manufacturing lines of a contract manufacturer that builds the iPods for Apple”.
The virus seems more of an annoyance than a serious threat. Security software vendor McAfee names the worm the W32/RJump.worm, and says of it that it “attempts to spread by copying itself to mapped and removable storage drives and also opens a backdoor on an infected system”. It gives it a low-profiled risk assessment, although that may increase with the widespread publicity about its concealment on the iPods.
Apple's sage advice for removing the worm is for users to make sure their virus protection is up-to-date, or to download a trial version of various security software programs, including Microsoft live OneCare, McAfee, and Symantec's Norton product.
“After installing an anti-virus application”, Apple recommends, “you should attach your Video iPod to your Windows computer and run the anti-virus program. If your Windows system is infected with this virus, an alert will be triggered and inform you that the virus has been detected and either quarantined or removed”.