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Ready to Lock Up Your Employees iPods?

If you thought that you had your companys security concerns under control, you may have to think again. The widespread success of Apple's iPod is creating new security concerns for enterprises. Because it is equipped with 1G byte (or more) of memory and includes software to synch with a local PC, the handy little device has become a new entry way for hackers. Chances are that it has become just that at your company; securi
If you thought that you had your companys security concerns under control, you may have to think again. The widespread success of Apple's iPod is creating new security concerns for enterprises. Because it is equipped with 1G byte (or more) of memory and includes software to synch with a local PC, the handy little device has become a new entry way for hackers. Chances are that it has become just that at your company; security supplier Credent Technologies found that 61 percent of employees use their iPods at work. Oh, joy, just what you need, another potential hacker entry point.In fact, security software supplier Kaspersky Lab has already identified the first virus designed for the iPod. The virus, named Podloso, was more of a proof of concept program than malware rapidly bouncing from device to device, so its potential damage was miniscule. But its emergence signals to small and medium corporations that one more gadget has become a potential conduit for hackers, who want to disrupt enterprise networks and destroy sensitive data.

The iPod is not the only MP3 player that has been attacked by hackers. In August 2006, McDonald's ran a promotion where it sent MP3 players to 10,000 customers in Japan. If they connected the music players to their computers, then the worm WORM_QQPASS.ADH could infect their computers and possibly steal their personal data. The worm spread from the MP3 player to other removable drives on computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system. If the malware found the QQ Instant Messenger application, it attempted to steal account login information and other chat details, and transmit them by email. The malware even attempted to disable anti-virus applications. McDonalds recalled and then replaced the infected devices.

While there has been little damage from the MP3 player malware to date, the viruses emergence should serve as a warning shot to medium and small businesses. If they want a secure computing environment, they need to make sure that their employees iPods are not carrying malware, so you have to add that device to the list of items that you need to track in your corporation.

How many of you have an iPod? Have you hooked it to the company network? Did you ever consider the potential problems that could cause?

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