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The Hamburglar, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburglar, was the crook in some old McDonald’s commercials. It appears that Hamburglar has returned to steal information from McDonald’s customers. Don’t worry, you would have to be one of 10,000 winners (in Japan) to get this special treatment, the rest of us losers keep our passwords.
McDonald’s unfortunately put their trust in a supplier who does not have much understanding of quality assurance or quality control. Potentially McDonald’s should have caught the problem, but they are not technology experts.
There is only one way that software (or hardware with software on it) releases with the wrong data (malware is the wrong data). That is if the company releasing the data doesn’t know what they are releasing.
Now comes news that Apple released iPods with a windows virus on them http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-6126804.html?tag=zdfd.newsfeed.
McDonalds promptly apologized and set up a help line for affected users. Apple promptly blamed Microsoft and apologized. Apple doesn’t seem to get it. It isn’t that there was a virus on the iPods, the issue is that they did not know what they were releasing. I don’t expect McDonalds to understand technology, but Apple should.
McDonalds did the responsible thing and accepted responsibility. Apple tried to deflect blame by pointing fingers at Microsoft. The problem was not that Windows wasn’t hardy enough, the problem was that Apple didn’t know what they were releasing. It didn’t help that someone made extremely poor security decisions using a PC. We are not talking about a worm exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities in Windows, we are talking about a complete lack of security in a manufacturing environment. Additionally manufacturing completely failed to institute basic quality assurance and moderate quality control. But hey, why waste an opportunity to blame Microsoft for content on an iPod? That sounds so much better than admitting the obvious truth that they really didn’t know if the iPods had viruses, porn, or evaluation copies of Windows Media Player on them!
I probably better point out that this is my opinion, and not necessarily the views of my employer or a techie I know in New Zealand!
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET