Re: [ISN] State Department's warns visa-checking system crippled by computer virus

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Fri Sep 26 2003 - 01:22:03 PDT

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    Forwarded from: John Blaylock <john_blaylock@private>
    Y'know, unless every person that accesses this CLASS system does so
    with their own networked mainframe under their desk, chances are they
    use a PC to get their green screen, and possibly a PC gateway server.  
    (You have to be able to play minesweep when not checking records!  
    Can't do that on a dumb terminal!)  These are susceptible to the
    myriad baddies running around in the ether.  Mainframes are not able
    to function in a network vacuum.  A mainframe that can't be
    communicated with is just as good as down....
    > WASHINGTON - The State Department's electronic system for checking
    > every visa applicant for terrorist or criminal history failed
    > worldwide late Tuesday because of a computer virus, leaving the U.S.
    > government unable to issue visas.
    > The virus crippled the department's Consular Lookout and Support
    > System, known as CLASS, which contains more than 12.8 million
    > records from the FBI, State Department and U.S. immigration,
    > drug-enforcement and intelligence agencies. Among the names are
    > those of at least 78,000 suspected terrorists.
    CLASS runs on a mainframe. Excuse me but what virus released recently
    infects a mainframe? And they've got at least 2 of them. One here in
    DC and the other in the mountains of WVa. infected the end-user
    terminals I would definately conceed since those are windoze PC's
    running various home-grown application to access said database. And
    desktop security was quite pathetic.
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