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Malware Destabilizes County PCs

On April 19, 2011, a PC worm called "Qakbot" was released that contaminated the computer network of the Yavapai County. Says Director Michael Holmes of Management Information Services in the County, Qakbot multiplies while proliferating from PC-to-PC. Verde Independent published this on April 21, 2011.

The worm, when contaminates a PC, lets remote downloading of files, theft of confidential data as well as installation of a backdoor allowing remote admission into the PC so new assaults maybe executed. The worm was new and extremely malicious, said Holmes, adding that all computers were closed in anticipation of the malware, which was proliferating fast.

Stated Chip Davis District 3 Supervisor, the PC assault had not just impaired the county from carrying on with its business, but it had shown a severe lacuna within the immediate preparedness plans of the county.

According to him, the County was literally shutdown, while Davis was informed that everything could come under control in 30-days time. The situation had become worse in not having any management plan to deal with something of the kind related to Qakbot. The Daily Courier published this on April 21, 2011.

Davis reported that all of the County's medical records, billing mechanism and systems for bill-payment were shutdown. The situation resembled any potential disaster within the county such as a sudden ferocious natural fire or displacement of people from a region, the Supervisor added.

Expressing own views on April 21, 2011, following a briefing, Davis stated that the problem could appear before the county in two separate manners. The first one via addressing the PC problem as such and the second via enforcing a management scheme for having county workers resume their work.

Nevertheless, Holmes said there was an experts' group the county engaged which consisted of a Microsoft representative, operating system developers of Yavapai as well as security specialists attached to anti-virus application developers, McAfee and Symantec.

Holmes further said that there was a test laboratory in Yavapai County where days of effort were being spent for lessening the hazard and its impact on the county. Verde Independent published this on April 21, 2011.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

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