$10 Webcam at Office Depot Links to Malware

Dennis Faas's picture

Many consumers think it's less likely you'll contract a malware infection if you buy your computer software at a store rather than online. For one U.S. woman, however, her latest store-bought accessory corrupted her computer minutes into the installation process.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Anna Giesman bought a $10 webcam for her daughter to chat with her friend who had just moved to Germany. But when she put the CD that came pre-packed along with the Markvision Magnetic Webcam into her computer, a menu instantly popped up offering drivers and a link to the Markvision website.

Trusting the software, and wanting to learn a little bit more about her new product, she followed the link and the problems started.

It Started with a Blank Screen...

The web page went completely blank except for a small window that popped up informing Giesman of the need to upgrade her version of the Windows software that she was currently running.

Next, she attempted to bypass the window via the red "X" tab, but soon another window popped up to make it appear as though her computer was being scanned. The problem was eventually detected and blocked by her McAfee antivirus program.

Still not convinced of its removal, Giesman contacted Office Depot (the store she had purchased the device) and their support technicians advised her to try a free antivirus program, Avast, which identified rogue antivirus files on her computer.

Rogue Antivirus: A Fountain of Misinformation

In a nutshell, rogue software generates a series of pop-up warnings telling a victim that there is a problem with their computer. The software then pesters the user to get their computer fixed until they eventually hand over their credit card information (in distress and frustration), believing that they are purchasing a reputable antivirus program. (Source: yahoo.com)

Once installed, rogue antivirus software can download such malicious programs as keyloggers, making it a serious security concern.

Many are worried that with the webcams selling for $10 each, a great number of people would have likely been affected by the rogue antivirus software. According to Office Depot representatives, only a small number of customers were affected. "It was our vendor that ... [initially] let us know, so they must have heard directly from their own customers," an Office Depot spokeswoman said via email. (Source: networkworld.com)

Site Shut Down in Response to Malware

In response to the news, Markvision has "temporarily shut down their website in order to protect customers from being exposed to the virus." the spokeswoman said.

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