Digital camera artifact

A strange looking artifact started showing up on the wife's digital camera (a Sony DSC-W5) yesterday. In regular non-zoom mode, it just shows up as a small dark fuzzy patch in the lower left corner of the image. At full optical zoom it becomes a slightly more defined small rectangular patch:
Digital camera artifact at full optical zoom
It's not anything on the surface of the lens, and it doesn't move when the optical zoom is adjusted so I'm thinking it must be something on the CCD. With a flashlight and some image enhancement using GIMP I managed to get these images:
Image enhanced artifact

Image enhanced artifact

Not entirely sure what to make of it. The striations possibly suggest something spring-like. A few hours later, it migrated a little bit higher to the left middle of the screen (perhaps in response to some soft thumping I gave it). Looks like I'll have to send it in to have it looked at.