Microsoft Says Some New PCs Delivered with Malware

Dennis Faas's picture

Is your new PC already infected with malware? It's possible, experts say. According to a new report, a number of computers recently built in China are not only shipping with counterfeit software but also come laced with malware.

Thanks to "bloatware" -- the pre-loaded third-party trial software included with most new computers -- getting a new system to run the way you want can be a real hassle. However, finding your new PC pre-loaded with malware is downright frightening.

But that's exactly what Microsoft says it found on some new computers built and distributed in China.

Microsoft Files Fraud Suit

To combat the troubling trend, Microsoft says it has filed a lawsuit alleging fraud by the Chinese businessman who apparently sold the infected PCs.

Reports indicate that the Microsoft lawsuit alleges the businessman distributed up to 500 different types of malware on brand new PCs running counterfeit copies of Microsoft's Windows operating system (OS). (Source:

Although the infected computer systems originated in China, they could reach North America and Europe. To prevent that from happening, Microsoft is encouraging all consumers to purchase new computers only from reputable websites.

Malware Embedded Deep Inside System

The problem is particularly severe because this isn't ordinary malware. Microsoft says it believes the malware in these computers operates at the "kernel" level of the OS. That makes it too embedded within the system to be easily removed.

Most anti-malware tools on the market today might detect a problem in these computers, but they will not be able to do anything about it. In some cases, the problem might go completely undetected.

To avoid these issues, Microsoft encourages consumers to buy only well-known brands of computers. If you are going to shop online for a bargain computer system, remember the old saying: if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For the time being, some experts believe it may be a good idea to avoid purchasing any computer systems built in or distributed from China. Some insiders suggest that as many as one-fifth of all PCs shipped from that country are infected with malware. (Source:

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