April 1, 2012 1 Comment-
Computers, mobile phones, internet fridges and now pet microchips. For the first time ever, malware has been discovered within the microchip implants inside pet ID tags. This discovery was made in February by the Norman Malware Detection Team.
Unfortunately, there’s no virus checker for ID chips, with the malware itself living within the integrated circuit of the microchip. That means cat owners will need to look for symptoms themselves. Dog owners: you can relax. At the moment, only cats appear to be affected by the infection.
Symptoms of the malware include changed vocal activity, a decrease in bathing habits, panting uncontrollably, playing fetch and having a penchant for canine-specific food. In short, the malware actually makes your feline friend behaviour a lot like a dog.
Our research team has been able to verify the malware invades the chip from infected RFID readers. We have narrowed down the list of infected RFID reader types to a handful and contacted the manufacturers for further investigation. The manufacturers in question will communicate any findings and instructions to their customers.
Currently, there are no reports a P2P (pet 2 pet) transmission is possible. However, if your cat appears to be contagious, it may be necessary to have your vet administer an updated deworming medication.
And while we hate to praise the creators of malicious software, the developers behind this malware are clearly exceptionally talent – the exploit has been found working on all four major types of pet microchip: ISO Conformant, AVID Friendchip, FECAVA and AKC CAR.
In response to the cat-crisis, Norman has begun developing some new tools to help worried owners. A cat collar with integrated malware scanner and cleaner is expected to be released before end of Q2, meaning the product will hit the shelves and our webshop before end of June.
Following the release of the scanner and cleaner collar, we will also release a cat collar with integrated antivirus. This product will come with a special deworming module.
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