IBM spokeswoman Stacy Pena said that some Aptiva PCs sold in the United States had been exposed to the CIH virus during the manufacturing process due to human error.
Pena said the virus was introduced to the Aptivas through test diskettes. The virus wasn't detected because "an individual" failed to update the anti-virus software on the server used to duplicate software, she said. "What happened was a glitch in the manufacturing process. We have very high quality control," Pena said. "What happened was human error."
The CIH virus is spread from one PC to another when an executable file is transferred, may render an infected PC inoperable when the date on the PC's internal calendar reads April 26 of any year.
The company said that Aptiva PCs with model numbers 240, 301, 520 and 580 manufactured between March 5 and March 17, 1999, and sold in the United States, may have been exposed to the CIH computer virus. The affected computers have one of the following codes after "MFG DATE": AM909, AM910 or AM911. All potentially affected customers who have registered their Aptiva with IBM Owner Privileges, and all others for whom IBM has a current, valid address, have already been contacted and will automatically receive an IBM Antivirus Update CD, the company said. Retailers have also been contacted to ensure that Aptivas in stores are free of the virus.
No other Aptiva models or IBM products are known to be affected.
For more information, IBM said Aptiva owners should read IBM.com's update on Aptiva PCs and the CIH virus.
Take me to the Melissa Virus special.