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New Mexico Secretary of State's Laptop Found Infected with Malware

Mary Herrera's (Mexico Secretary of State) office had been victimized to computer system attacks during the last four months, including a virus that directs links to pornographic websites into a computer, as reported by newswest9 on August 18, 2010.

Both Secretary of state Herrera and Deputy Secretary of State Francisco Trujillo agreed to the malware trouble but refuted the presence of malicious content or offensive links on computers, as reported by Softpedia on August 18, 2010.

The news leaked when Manny Vildasol, an Office Administrator, employed a hidden camera to monitor how, an IT staffer was attempting to remove viruses from Ms. Herrera's state-issued portable computer.

As per the officials, around five machines in the office, out of which one was the secretary laptop and the other was used for human resources were found to be infected with "malware" hidden as anti-virus software.

However, laptop of Secretary of State was infected with a part of scareware, known as Defense Center, rouge program that pretenses as an antivirus and attempts to panic the user into paying for a license by displaying numerous fake alerts.

The most shocking part of this story is that the laptop was not actually safeguarded with any anti-virus program.

Manny Vildasol suspected that some outsider had access to the secretary of state's Herrera's computer after he discovered a family member's bio-data on the desktop. He stated that the virus could have had the potential to even expose that information to the public wherein people's security could have compromised, as reported by the kob on August 16, 2010.

Herrera however said that the computer attacks did not expose the state's voter registration records or personal details about victims of domestic violence, who could have their mail sent secretively via a program administered by her office. She further stated that the confidential information was maintained in paper files.

Herrera also said that her office was working with the State Department of Information Technology to protect computer systems. She further added that from then onwards they would ensure that the latest version of anti-virus software was installed on all laptops.

Related article: New Zealand Releases Code To Reduce Spam

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