Dymocks’ ebook reader hit with virus

In what is possibly the first reported virus attack on an ebook reader, the iRex Iliad – chosen by Dymocks booksellers as its ebook reader of choice – has been hit by an adware infection.

Thought to be the imgInSOYt worm, it falls into the category commonly referred to as “adware”. These low level infections are more of an annoyance than a serious threat. Apart from copying itself onto other devices, imgInSOYt’s main purpose seems to be to subject the victim to a constant stream of unwanted advertising.

And this worm doesn’t need its target to be connected to the internet since it spreads via removable disk drives. The iRex is vulnerable because it acts as a USB drive (like a memory stick) when connected to a PC to download ebooks. If the PC is infected, it can easily transfer its infection to the Iliad.

The problem is more of an embarrassment than anything else but certainly highlights the world that ebooks are moving into. Under the hood, the iRex Iliad is a fully-fledged computer based on the Linux operating system, albeit one with a fairly narrow range of functionality. This attack points to the likelihood that anti-virus protection may have to become a standard addition to future ebook readers.

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