There may be a virus floating around on certain pirated DVD movies that can permanently destroy your standalone DVD player ...
This piece of news is weird, and also a little scary. Apparently, there is a virus floating around on certain pirated DVD movies that, once inserted into your standalone DVD player, it will try to overwrite your player's firmware and render it completely useless. The only way to repair this damage is to take it back to the manufacturer for a new firmware upload.
This virus only affects players that can have their firmware updated using CD/DVDs, and most players these days can. There are no details about which brands are affected at the moment, but there have been reports that suggests it does affect a large range of brands. Computer DVD-ROM drives are not affected, since their firmware cannot be updated just by inserting a disc into the drive, and a good way to check if you have an infected disc it to loaded into your DVD-ROM drive and search for ".bin" and ".hex" files in the root directory of the disc.
The origins of the virus are, at this moment, unknown (although conspiracy theorist may suggest MPAA involvement, but there is no evidence to back up this claim).