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U.S. Marshals Run Outdated Antivirus, Get Infected

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

The FBI and U.S. Marshals were yesterday struck with a virus that left them with no choice but to shut down parts of their networks.

The malware is believed to be the Neeris worm. Several reports indicate that the problem was caused by the U.S. Marshals Service running backlevel antivirus software, Trend Micro’s OfficeScan v5.0, as well as not applying patches to its computers.

Neeris targets unpatched computers in the same way the Conficker worm does. “Neeris and Conficker look for missing patches. If the PCs and servers are patched, the malware doesn't work,” John Pescatore, research director and vice president at Gartner, told SCMagazineUS.com. However, Pescatore added that, “The patch for this has been out since October 2008.”

SCMagazine reports (citing USMS spokesperson, Nikki Credic) that when the virus was discovered, IT staff disconnected the marshals' computers from the Justice Department's network to prevent further spread. The marshals' internet connection was shut off all day Thursday, added Credic with only internal email operational.

The FBI were similarly affected. "We too are evaluating a network issue on our external, unclassified network that's affecting several government agencies," FBI spokesman Mike Kortan told the Associated Press. Kortan reportedly did not elaborate on the situation, nor did he identify the other agencies.

Read the full story from SCMagazine here.

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  • -4 Hide
    jhansonxi , May 22, 2009 10:08 PM
    Just another Windows virus. Nothing to see here. Move along.
  • 0 Hide
    deltatux , May 22, 2009 10:19 PM
    Army fail? You'd think the U.S. government would be more secure than even the best computer enthusiast...
  • 0 Hide
    mindless728 , May 22, 2009 10:34 PM
    *sigh
    really...
  • 0 Hide
    daft , May 22, 2009 10:40 PM
    deltatux, the us government has switched more towards detecting, not preventing these things. thats why they don't update their software except every year.
  • 3 Hide
    anamaniac , May 22, 2009 10:45 PM
    HEADSHOT!
  • 1 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , May 22, 2009 11:30 PM
    God what the hell is wrong with PC users? They seem to get dumber everyday , FBI now included.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , May 23, 2009 12:03 AM
    Not that the FBI, or any other government agency, is that smart to begin with
  • 2 Hide
    IronRyan21 , May 23, 2009 12:58 AM
    Someone should fire that IT staff. I mean really Oct 2008? With all the Chinese hackers u think the govt would at least update some PCs.
  • 2 Hide
    doomtomb , May 23, 2009 1:31 AM
    Trendmicro sucks. My school put it on our laptops and I got rid of it in favor of AVG. It's much more proactive.
  • 0 Hide
    IzzyCraft , May 23, 2009 1:41 AM
    deltatuxArmy fail? You'd think the U.S. government would be more secure than even the best computer enthusiast...

    Naw that's just the CIA they take security seriously down there all usb ports cemented over that aren't to use and the keyboard mice cemented to the computer lol they don't f around at the cia. Federal marshal is just the guys that track down a catch people abroad or across jursdictions.

    This just reminds me of companys that don't do the important updates from Microsoft or from the av then get hit big time by a virus that would have been patched if they were up to date. like conflicker :) 
  • -5 Hide
    salem80 , May 23, 2009 2:01 AM
    oh great... nice job gates
  • -1 Hide
    boju , May 23, 2009 3:57 AM
    someone at the marshal's office got lucked out with his wife ey, indeed needing the urge to browse through some porn. lol poor guy. j/k =]
  • 2 Hide
    vladtepes , May 23, 2009 5:46 AM
    Ain't no country for old men!!
  • -5 Hide
    erafael , May 23, 2009 6:22 AM
    What a shame.They should just shut up and don't even tell anyone about such a basic security failure.It just tells people how vulnerable and unprepared for any security issues they systems are.

    And get the right IT staff in there now!

    I am not an American, but feel sorry for American people to even have to deal with such a basic security problems.

    Microsoft sucks too...

  • 2 Hide
    mavroxur , May 23, 2009 6:40 AM
    Well, we can rest assured our tax dollars arent being spent on antivirus software and intelligent IT admins.
  • -1 Hide
    desidude006 , May 23, 2009 4:50 PM
    watching too much pr0n on the wrong sites
  • 0 Hide
    nihility , May 23, 2009 8:06 PM
    Quote:
    Several reports indicate that the problem was caused by the U.S. Marshals Service running backlevel antivirus software


    What's backlevel?
    Doesn't come up on google.
  • -1 Hide
    manicmalki , May 23, 2009 9:33 PM
    This is crap I get layed off and whoever there IT people are cant even keep there systems patched!!! I think I will be applying at the US Marshals and the FBI now..... It seems they will hire anyone.
  • 1 Hide
    g0rilla , May 23, 2009 11:57 PM
    This is funny. I had a computer that had no antivirus for two years and was connected to the internet all the time. After I realized it had no antivirus and ran a scan, nothing was found.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 24, 2009 6:36 AM
    g0rilla ur a zombie already that's why...
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