A few weeks ago I wrote about a new laptop with a virus preloaded that was bought from Comet. As far as I knew, I was the only person to have this problem but after carefully checking everything that I had done to set up the machine, my conclusion was that the RAVMON.EXE malware was preloaded on the PC.. but perhaps it was a one-off.
Not so. From the comments on the post, it seems that Toshiba laptops from Currys and PC World have the problem, over at the Irreverence Is Justified blog, it turns out that exactly the same thing has happened. Same virus, same model of Toshiba and Comet (again).
Detections were varied, but it appears to be a trojan that possibly loads itself on via a USB key. The implication is that some part of the manufacturing process / preparation is compromised with infected USB devices.
So Toshiba's manufacturer process is compromised? Well, it appears to be.. but almost definitely an accident rather than a malicious act. Presumably there are many more L40-18Z laptops with the same problem..