FBI crippled by vicious virus
From last Friday’s New York Post:
A vicious cyber-virus is crippling the FBI’s computer and e-mail systems — continuing to jam the G-men’s vast communications network more than nine days after being first detected, The Post has learned.
As of yesterday, sources said, FBI agents were still unable to e-mail their counterparts in other intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, a crucial post-9/11 necessity.
“Since the beginning of the week . . . the private server, has been down, and we haven’t been able to e-mail each other,” one source said.
The revelation comes as President Obama is expected to announce today the creation of a White House “cyber-czar” post to coordinate computer security throughout the federal government and the private sector.
The malicious code, which first surfaced last Wednesday, also hit the US Marshals Office, forcing it to shut down much of its system for several days, officials said.
The Marshals Office is up and running, a spokesman in Washington said yesterday, although employees there were unable to send e-mails most of last week.
The invasion prompted the FBI and Marshals offices to take the desperate measure of completely disconnecting themselves from the Department of Justice’s computer system to prevent the infection from spreading.
Federal cybertechies were debugging the entire system to ensure no sensitive or classified data was compromised, sources said.
But FBI officials promised such information was safe and said the network was back up and running — although they still are plagued with problems transmitting data over the Internet.
Despite what The Post’s sources said, the bureau’s DC spokesman, Richard Kolko, insisted: “The issue, as it affects the FBI, was contained and addressed. External e-mail communications on the unclassified networks have resumed.”
But he added, “Certain limitations on materials sent through the Internet may remain in place while our technicians work to complete the installation of security upgrades.”
Sources said all of the FBI’s 55 field offices have been hampered by the virus.
But the FBI Law Enforcement Online network, a secure Internet-based emergency alert and intelligence-sharing system, was not affected, Kolko said.
He also said the internal, classified global communication system was not compromised, although a source told The Post that field offices nationwide still could not send or receive e-mails within the bureau yesterday.
Authorities said they had definitively identified the virus, but declined to provide details.
Jim Margolin, spokesman for the New York field office, said all technical problems had been “rectified” there.
Yet another government agency not taking the proper security precautions including making sure systems are updated in order to protect against attack? And the virus is still causing problems after being detected NINE DAYS AGO?