Another possible threat vector could be the on-board entertainment systems being included in many new vehicles, Runald said. Ultimately, people will have to expect that viruses are a reality with any type of computer, no matter what application it is being used for, according to the expert. "As soon as we get a critical mass of any type of intelligent device among end users, especially those hooked up to the Web, it will become a new market for the bad guys, although PCs will likely remain the leading target for the foreseeable future," he said.Most companies not directly affected by viruses in their products have yet to wake up to the reality of a malware evolution outside of the PC domain, said Dennis Szerszen, senior vice president at SecureWave, an endpoint security software maker based in Luxembourg. "The PC has always represented the endpoint, so thats where the threats have centered, but nothing is sacred anymore and anything you plug into a PC is fair game for attackers," said Szerszen. "TomTom could have done a better job to ensure these werent in there, but its hard to fault them too much; Apples quality assurance is rock-solid and they got hit too. "The fact is, it only takes one moment to get malware into something, and then these programs by their nature find ways to spread themselves," he said. "So no one should be too surprised by this, and its not really a poor refection on TomTom as much as this illustrates the ubiquity of malware code."
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Other experts echoed those sentiments, observing that anything that can be plugged into a PC is fair game for malware writers looking for new distribution methods for their programs.