iPod virus is final straw for some security managers with worries about portable data

Security managers worried about viruses and the possible theft of valuable data are shutting off access to iPods and other portable media devices.

The virus Apple Computer Inc. admitted to having shipped along with a number of its iPods alarmed some security managers enough to ban iPods and similar devices from their networks.

The most prominent risk is the chance that end users will download malware along with their favorite songs or video files.

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But there's also the risk they will use up corporate disk space with iPod files, put the company in violation of copyright on those files or, most alarmingly, the chance an employee could load a significant amount of confidential information on an iPod and walk out with it.

Apple said on its Web site that it had seen fewer than 25 reports concerning the RavMone.exe virus, which were included in fewer than 1% of Video iPods leaving the plant of its contract manufacturer.

At least one organization requires employees to file a written application for permission to plug in an iPod or USB thumb drive, including a reason more legitimate than downloading music.

Other companies use appliances or policies that prevent employees from downloading anything sketchy. None seem to think they've come up with a complete solution, however.

The original version of this story appeared on TechTarget's SearchSecurity.com.

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