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Virus on Maxtor HDDs targets MMO players

Chris Chester

Buyer beware, Seagate had released a notice saying that a sizable number of Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 harddrives manufactured since August of this year may be infected with a virus known as "Virus.Win32.AutoRun.ah." The virus is known to probe drive data looking for passwords, and sends them to a central server located somewhere in China. Evidently, the problem stemmed from a specific sub-contractor, and while the issue has already been resolved on their end, the infected harddrives are still floating around in circulation.

What makes this story of particular interest to us is that the virus seems to be looking specifically for passwords for games popular with Chinese MMO players, most notably WSGame, Perfect World, and World of Warcraft. In the announcement on their website, Seagate, which owns the Maxtor brand, describes the effects of the virus as "minimal." If it was our WoW account that were hacked because of their oversight, that's hardly the word choice we'd use.

If you've picked up a new harddrive from Maxtor since August, it might be worth checking your specific model number and calling customer service just to hedge your bets. Here's hoping this is only an isolated case and we don't see anything like this in the future.

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