Research companies say Sony memory stick leaves PCs vulnerable

Hackers could infiltrate the hidden directory created by memory stick, according to study
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A high-end memory stick produced by Sony Corp could leave computers vulnerable to attack, according to two internet security research companies.

The MicroVault USB memory stick and fingerprint reader contains software that installs a hidden directory on the PCs hard drive, reported F-secure on Monday. F-secures online blog said it has contacted Sony about the problem, yet the firm has not yet replied.

Hidden software, also known in this circumstance as a root kit, leaves hackers room to infect personal computers, without detection. Furthermore, it seems that many malicious software removal and anti-virus tools would be unable to detect the cloaked directory.

Researchers at McAfee confimed the potential dangers described by F-secure.
"The apparent intent was to cloak sensitive files related to the fingerprint verification feature included on the USB drives," said McAfee spokesman Dave Marcus. "However, software creators apparently did not keep the security implications in mind. The application could be used to hide arbitrary software, including malicious software."

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