RealNews

Computer Worm Disrupts Systems at State Department

A computer worm that hit the State Department has slowed computer systems at least six embassies, 14 passport offices and one headquarters building at various times since Aug. 20. The worm, called Welchia, was launched anonymously as an apparent effort to repair the damage created by another worm called Blaster, which attacked computer systems Aug 11. While the variant was not intended to damage information systems, David Ames, State’s acting deputy chief information officer for operations, said the speed at which it is replicating has caused access to the department’s networks to become slow and difficult and caused the department to take some systems offline until the worm was eradicated. The ferociousness of the infection surprised State IT officials. “Fighting viruses and worms is something we do every day, but we have a very strong anti-virus program and intrusion detection program that usually protects us. As soon as we have everyone back online, we will do a post-mortem to see what we can improve,” Ames said. “Considering we have 43,570 users and over 300 locations, we came through this pretty well.” Full Story

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