Just last week in the UK, many hospital systems were shut down for the same type of activity.  Also, now that the DOD is exchanging medical records with the VA, something else that is not needed there to complicate issues.  The same response from the UK was presented by the Department of Defense, no more USB flash drives to be connected. 

More and more hospitals are also disallowing portable drives to be connected to computers as well.  When you stop and think about it, information that is deemed critical really should have no business being on a portable drive, but better stored on a secure server, thus more support for Web 2.0 applications for better security as well.  The one item here that is a source of alarm is the fact that the worm has been in circulation for months, so how long and exactly where in the system is it?  It’s a lot easier to clean a few servers than it is to clean individual PCs for sure. 

Also, the online virus scanning capabilities these days are current, where as the software on a PC is only as up to date as the update, and it may not contain enough antigens to fully do the job, especially in the enterprise.  As one more added comment, virtualization of such information is great for such instances too, as if one corrupts, has virus problems, the fall over server immediately kicks in and the virtual imageserver can be completely deleted.  Use of virtualization is one big help in the war with computer security by all means. 

Once more we are transitioning to a new era, and some day portable drives might just be for music only.  The full powered antigens offered by commercial companies coupled with some virtualized servers can certainly be an aid to winning some of the battles or preventing them from starting in the first place.  Forefront from Microsoft is an example of a highly successful antigen system, one that Microsoft relies on themselves.  BD  

“Many of today's viruses and worms are designed by criminal hackers to rapidly infect millions of computer systems across the world through the Web and e-mail. The worldwide cost of viruses and worms in 2003 was estimated to be more than $12 billion. At the same time, companies are being overwhelmed with unsolicited e-mail--analysts estimate that spam accounts for anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of all e-mail traffic. In addition to e-mail threats, an evolving ecosystem of viruses, worms, and blended threats are finding new ways to propagate inside corporate networks--including via portals and instant messaging applications. As a result, messaging and collaboration infrastructure is a critical focal point for businesses in the fight against malicious software.

Antigen Enterprise Manager, a browser-based management console that provides centralized deployment, quarantine management, and signature updating, SMTP/SNMP alerting, and reporting.1

Antigen Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager, which supplies critical events and alerts on virus, worm, and spam activity to MOM 2005 from Antigen for Exchange, Antigen for SMTP Gateways, and Antigen Spam Manager, as well as monitors the health and availability of these products.”

Pentagon officials have acknowledged that the malware known as Agent.btz recently affected some Defense Department systems. Although it has been in circulation for several months, the malware was not yet known to have penetrated military networks.

The incident has left DOD officials scrambling to clean infected systems, institute new policy and security measures to thwart future incidents, and perform forensics to discover the source of the attack. The issue was serious enough to prompt Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to brief President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week on the incident.

Malware attack leaves Pentagon scrambling for answers -- Defense Systems


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