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These PCs Come Pre-Installed With All Your Favorite Malware

Illustration for article titled These PCs Come Pre-Installed With All Your Favorite Malware

Malware and viruses are bad, but so long as you're careful, your PC will stay squeaky clean, right? Maybe not. Microsoft has found that many PCs from China are coming with malware pre-installed, as many as a fifth.

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As if bloatware wasn't bad enough, the four offending computers all run forged versions of Windows, forged versions of Windows with all kinds of nasty functionality baked right in. Generally, the malware is designed to control the PCs for use in a botnet, mostly for DDOS attacks. In worse cases, the viruses could remotely engage cameras and microphones.

You're probably safe; most of the computers that suffer from this come from relatively unregulated markets like China. Still, even if your laptop is clean having more infected computers out there in the wild isn't going to be good for anyone. Microsoft has been trying to fix the problem with a lawsuit, but it's a big problem to fix. For the time being, don't buy a new computer in China if you can avoid it. [The Guardian]

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DISCUSSION

All the more reason to self-build. Alternatively, if you get a laptop, it's good practice to do a full format the first time you turn it on. It also has the added benefit of getting rid of all the crapware that manufacturers insist on pre-installing.