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Virus Forces Shutdown of New Britain City’s Official Website

Affinity Multimedia Design, the company which designed www.newbritainct.gov (the website for New Britain City), said that a virus attacked the site after infiltrating PCs at the main city hall.

Officials suspect that an attacker hacked into the key website of the city. Albeit the attacker hasn't been spotted, the technicians managed to quarantine a dubious Internet Protocol address.

In certain instances, it is reported that the computer worm has infected other computers on the network that accessed the websites which the server hosted.

Spokesman Pete Steele representing the office of the city mayor stated that experts detected the virus during the second week of February 2010, following which it was immediately isolated. While this was done to safeguard municipal computers, it was felt that the virus had loaded cookies onto PCs already compromised, he said. New Britain Herald published this on February 16, 2010.

To define a cookie, it's a very short message that a server sends over to a computer to be read later via its Web browser. This helps as the browser recall a particular piece of information.

On February 16, 2010, the Affinity employees deactivated the website as a precautionary measure, according to Carrie Wilson, owner of Affinity Multimedia Design, reported courant.com on February 17, 2010. People accessing the New Britain City website found their screen completely white as of the afternoon of February 16, 2010, with a message saying that the authorized site for New Britain City was at the time not available.

Notably, the police and the office of the city mayor were informed about Affinity's discoveries. At the same time, Wilson said that the website was restored and running as usual.

Meanwhile, according to security researchers, this is not the first time that the British official website has been hacked. In July 2009, hackers compromised the British Intelligence Agency's (MI5) website so they could steal the visitors' identity as well as install viruses on their computers.

The experts stated that computers can be best defended from a Trojan or virus if they have a quality anti-virus program that is also up-to-date.

Related article: Virus Infects Through USB Drives

» SPAMfighter News - 2/27/2010

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