China virus found in Seagate drives in Taiwan: report

TAIPEI Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:52am EST

TAIPEI (Reuters) - U.S. computer hardware maker Seagate Technology STX.N said some external disc drives sold in Taiwan had been infected with a virus which reportedly sent users' information to China, but it had since fixed the problem.

The English-language Taipei Times, quoting the Investigation Bureau, reported around 1,800 hard discs, used to store large amounts of information often as a backup device, had been sold with a Trojan horse virus.

Investigation Bureau officials said their investigation suggested infection may have occurred when the devices were in the hands of Chinese sub-contractors during the manufacturing process, according to the newspaper.

Seagate said it had stopped shipments from the factory until the facilities had been cleaned.

"All products leaving the factory are now cleared of the virus," said the company in an emailed statement.

Seagate did not immediately offer any further information regarding the nature of the virus or how it was put onto its portable hard drives.

Officials from the Investigation Bureau had no immediate comment.

China and Taiwan regularly trade accusations of spying and last month Germany accused China of being behind Internet espionage attacks on its companies and government. China said it opposed such accusations.

(Reporting by Taipei Bureau; editing by Lincoln Feast)

(US$1=T$32.4)