Trojans found on TomTom sat navs

Satellite navigation company TomTom has admitted that a number of its devices are infected with malware, following an investigation by a security expert and IT PRO contributor. The viruses were shipped with TomTom GO 910 model but do not affect the operation of the device, according to the manufacturers.

But according to a posting on tech blog Daniweb, once the TomTom device is connected to a PC running Windows, anti-virus software on the computer immediately flags up two alerts identifying win32.Perlovga.A trojan and TR/Drop.Small.qp as being resident on the Satnav's hard drive.

Davey Winder, one of IT PRO's regular writers, said that the two trojans were found on devices that come straight from the shop.

"This was a unit connected to a PC already protected by AV software, a clean PC, a PC belonging to an experienced IT consultant," said Winder. "It was for this reason that I believed him and that I did not simply assume it was a case of mistaken identity as is so often the case with such reports where the infection was already there, or came via a route unconnected to the accused party."

Winder said that further investigations unearthed other users of the device with the same problem.

A spokesman for the company said that only a small number of devices produced between September and November 2006 and running TomTom's software version 6.51 had been affected by the trojans.

He said that there was only a low risk to customer's computers or the device itself. "To date, no cases of problems caused by the viruses are known," he said.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.