Firms warned on 'pod slurping'

iPods and other multimedia devices pose a new form of security threat.

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By  Administrator Published  April 26, 2007

IT managers need to be on their guard against a new form of security threat, according to Trend Micro - iPods and other multimedia devices.

The security giant has warned administrators to be careful of the threat posed by users downloading large amounts of information from the USB port, or "pod slurping" as it has become known.

While this threat can come from any type of device, the mass appeal of the Apple iPod - which has now passed the 100 million mark in global sales - has made the problem more widespread, according to Trend Micro.

With the USB port now so widespread, the vendor said the vast majority of computers were at risk.

"Unlike the hackers and virus-writers of the 1990s, one does not need much skill or equipment to be a pod slurper," the vendor noted. "The 80Gbyte storage space on a personal music device could hold an equivalent amount of commercial data, which could then be used in fraudulent or illicit ways."

Various anti-slurping solutions are starting to appear on the market, according to the vendor, but for some companies the best option is simply to ban portable storage devices from the workplace.

"The scope to abuse popular portable storage devices means that vigilance is also needed at USB networked sites," said Justin Doo, MEA managing director of Trend Micro.

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