[Politech] State Department PCs slammed by virus, by AP's Ted Bridis

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Sep 23 2003 - 23:44:10 PDT

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    Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 22:22:57 -0700 (PDT)
    From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <jhall@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    Subject: State Department Computers Hit by Virus
    State Department Computers Hit by Virus
    Filed at 11:37 p.m. ET
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The State Department's electronic system for
    checking every visa applicant for terrorist or criminal history failed
    worldwide for several hours late Tuesday because of a computer virus,
    leaving the U.S. government briefly 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, the State Department and U.S. immigration,
    drug-enforcement and intelligence agencies. Among the names are those
    of at least 78,000 suspected terrorists.
    It was unclear which computer virus might have affected the system.
    But a separate message sent to embassies and consular offices late
    Tuesday warned that the ``Welchia'' virus had been detected in one
    facility. Welchia is an aggressive infection unleashed last month that
    exploits a software flaw in recent versions of Microsoft Corp.'s
    Windows software.
    Collectively, Welchia and a related virus, ``Blaster,'' have infected
    hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, including computers at
    the Federal Reserve in Atlanta, Maryland's motor vehicle agency and
    the Minnesota Transportation Department.
    Copyright 2003 The Associated Press
    (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
    distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior
    interest in receiving the included information for research and
    educational purposes.)
    Joseph Lorenzo Hall
    Graduate Student                        http://pobox.com/~joehall
    EFF petition against RIAA mass litigation: http://tinyurl.com/nlib
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