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Apple Blames iPod Virus on Windows

In another example of how mobile gadgets can carry malicious programs, Apple Computer Inc. said a fraction of its iPod players sold in the past month contained a virus that affects Windows systems.

The problem affected less than 1 percent of the video iPods that were available for purchase after Sept. 12, according to a posting on Apple's technical support Web site. The company has received less than 25 reports concerning the problem, Apple said.

The iPods got the virus from a Windows computer at one of its manufacturing plants, Apple said. The virus, RavMonE.exe, is known to spread through external data storage devices when they are connected to computers and affects only machines running the Windows operating system from Apple rival Microsoft Corp. Security experts say the virus opens up further security holes for hackers.

Up-to-date anti-virus software included with most Windows computers should detect and remove it, Apple said.

Though the iPods themselves are not affected, nor are Apple's Mac OS computers, Apple recommended that iPod owners use its latest iTunes program to remove the virus from their new devices.

Other iPod models were not affected and all video iPods now shipping are virus-free, the company said.

"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," the company stated.

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