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In 2011, NOAA and EDA had Computers Infected with Malware, DHS had Informed

A Department of Homeland Security released new report states that during December 2011, the department informed NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and Economic Development Administration (EDA) that both agencies' computer-networks were possibly infected with malware, published arstechnica.com dated July 9, 2013.

In response, while NOAA quarantined as well as removed the malware from the systems in just some weeks, EDA blocked access to its machines for the world outside.

EDA subsequently hired a security contractor who would see if malware was present while also give assurances that the agency's computers weren't merely sanitized, however, that no malware could penetrate them again. The contractor, following a few preliminary false positives, announced that there was no infection on the machines although couldn't state that as guaranteed. The expert detected infection on 6 computers; however, they were repaired without much difficulty through re-imaging the problem computers.

Meanwhile, apprehending that some other country may've attacked EDA, the agency's CIO asserted that there should be physical destruction instead. As a result, EDA embarked on annihilating equipments. IT equipments valuing $170K (EUR 132K) were serially destroyed, with the components comprising printers, keyboards, desktop computers, mouse, cameras and TVs.

The destruction was halted when EDA became short of funds, although it planned for annihilating other equipments worth $3m (EUR 2.33m) or more when there would be further funds obtainable.

Nonetheless, according to the IG (Inspector General), there was absolutely no need for the destruction, particularly as in the 2012 financial yr., EDA had expended more than 50% of its finances to carry out such an operation.

Rather as per the report, the agency was recommended to get ready for suitably and efficaciously tackling forthcoming security breaches online. This was vital following an increasing prevalence of attacks on the cyber-space.

Disturbingly, it isn't just the United States of America government which undertakes bad decisions vis-à-vis malware elimination. This year (2013) during April, Germany's government too undertook decision of a similar kind. Its Education Ministry discarded 170 PCs only for the Conficker worm that infected them all, citing that purchasing new PCs would be cheaper compared to cleansing the discarded pieces.

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