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Virus on digital photo frame - Products from China a security threat?

In February 2008, a virus was discovered on a digital photo frame with its roots in China. The virus, or the be exactly Trojan Horse, gathers passwords for online games. While this does not sound very harmful, it may have tremendous effects on the industry, especially for Chinese manufacturers. While viruses on computers are quite common, this was the first time that a virus was discovered on a digital photo frame. The virus, called Mocmex, is said to identify and block most anti-virus software packages and firewalls (including the Windows built-in firewall). Mocmex downloads data and files from remote locations. Furthermore, Mocmex is able to enter computers or portable storage products such as USB sticks. Despite the fact that the virus is not very harmful, it is the first case a virus has its origin in a digital photo frame. Furthermore, the issue got into the newspapers making the customers aware of a problem, which had not existed before. This bad publicity may have effects on sale figures of digital photo frames.


From where? - From China, of course!

Besides the issue that the virus was found on a digital picture frame, the fact that the virus was from China can have negative effects for Chinese manufacturers. A large part of digital photo frames, especially in the low-price segment, is assembled in China. The virus will negatively affect the image of Chinese picture frame manufacturers. Even worse, this is not the first time China is in the news due to cyber crimes. Chinese hackers were accused to hack into US and other nations governmental sites with the back up of its own government. True or not, this issue raised concerns about cyber attacks from China in Western countries. Finding a virus on products manufactured in China won't destroy those concerns, but make them even more serious. Furthermore, this issue affects the perceived low quality of Chinese products. In 2007, quality problems with toys manufactured in China made Western consumers aware that China is a low-cost, low-quality producer. If Western consumers think, these quality problems are also found in electronics in general, and digital photo frame manufactured in China in particular, this will have negative effects on the Chinese industry.


What to do as a Chinese digital photo frame manufacturer?

After this negative publicity, the majority of Chinese manufacturers, which have nothing to do with such kinds of crimes, face the negative impacts of customers' lack in trust. In crisis, the most important point is to regain trust from customers. This can only be done by speaking openly and honestly. Inviting customers to your factory and showing them your quality control programme that makes such problems impossible in your company, might be a way or let your products get tested by an independent authority. These quality programmes might costs some money at the first place, but it will pay off. Backed by an increasing RMB against the Dollar, the Chinese industry won't be able to solely rely on the cheapest price in future anyway. The emphasis has to be set on quality!

If you want to discuss this issue, you can log into the digital photo frame forum.

This article was written by the webmaster of this site, Digital Photo Frame Market, Hannes Mungenast on 26 February 2008. Please refer to how viruses get on digital photo frames for information on this topic.


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