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Former Fannie Mae Employee Indicted for Installing Virus

Rajendrasinh Makwana, aged 35 and resident of Frederick (Maryland, USA), was legally accused on January 27, 2009 with charges of installing a PC virus on the system of a mortgage company called Fannie Mae. Makwana who was employed at OmniTech was a contract worker at Fannie Mae in Urbana (Maryland, USA).

According to reports, Makwana was sacked from the contract job on October 24, 2008 because he changed the computer configurations without the permission of his senior. Therefore, just before leaving, disgruntled Makwana allegedly concealed a malicious code in the server application.

Jessica Nye, an FBI agent, said in a written statement that a senior computer engineer discovered the virus on October 29, 2008. The code was concealed in an empty page, and when the engineer accidentally scrolled down it, he discovered the virus.

Subsequently, he took the Fannie Mae servers offline to search the origin of the virus and whether more codes were placed inside it.

The engineer found that the virus would run on the servers on January 31, at 9AM. First it would impair the computer monitoring arrangements at Fannie Mae and then snapping the entire access to all the 4,000 servers of the company, the reports mentioned. Also, anyone attempting to access any of the servers would find a message -"Server Graveyard", the reports indicated

After that, the malicious virus would erase all the data putting in its place a series of zeros, and eventually cause the servers to shutdown.

Nye wrote that the total destruction would comprise restoring and cleaning out all the 4,000 servers, recovering the mortgage automation as well as securing it, and regaining all the erased data, as reported by dcexaminer on January 29, 2009.

Commenting on the incident, Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant of Sophos said that it indicates the extent of damage disappointed employees could possibly do to an employer's network, as reported by eWeek on January 29, 2009. Cluley said that while the case was going on, obviously no charges against Makwana had yet been proved; however, one could simply imagine the impact such an attack could make on a bank or other financial institutions.

Related article: Former Council Intern Charged with Intruding City E-mail

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