Apple iPad BitDefender, the company itself proclaims, is the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software.

And it also does a great line in stirring up some needless fear, uncertainty and doubt, it seems, using the headline-happy words 'iPad' and 'virus' together to grab some attention.

Yesterday it issued a press release entitled 'Warning on early iPad virus', which on first glance reads that BitDefender has been clever enough to find the first virus that can infect the Apple iPad.

Further careful reading shows that this is just yet another Windows scam, which tries to trick iPad owners to download an iTunes update for their iPad, using their Windows computer.

Anyone daft enough to follow a crafted email's link to a phoney iTunes website and click the download button, receives instead a malware package. And then suffers the usual raft of death, pestilence, war and famine that afflicts Microsoft's bizarrely popular platform.

In this case, the benighted Windowers receive Backdoor.Bifrose.AADY, which is said to inject itself into Windows' explorer.exe process, opening a backdoor to allow remote control of the infected system.

Further, it tries to read the keys and serial codes of software installed on the PC, as well as copy passwords from the user's Windows Messenger and ICQ programs, along with passwords from POP3 mail accounts and password-protected storage.

Plus ca change

Nothing to see here; this thing happens everyday in Windowsland. But the strong suggestion that this virus targets the so-far virus-free iPhone OS platform is a rather different matter.

Several technology websites were caught out by the ambiguous press release, leading to published stories that were not so ambivalent about who's exactly in danger.

'It may have only been on the shelves in the US for a few weeks but the Apple iPad has already been hit with a virus. Once [a malicious link is] clicked, any sensitive data stored on the users' iPad may be used for exploitation'.

So says one nameless tech site who's radar should have twitched at the misleading press release.

Amusingly, BitDefender adds a line in its story to say that Mac users remain unaffected by this piece of malware.

It's just a shame they weren't so categorical in saying that iPad users have nothing to fear, either.

Instead they chose to lead with a scaremongering introduction that read 'BitDefender has identified a virus targeting the estimated 600,000 iPads sold since its release'.