Friday, April 14, 2006

Holes In The Electronic Border

Guess the have never heard of AVG-Anti Virus at Homeland Security.
From Wired News via Slashdot:
Kevin Poulsen
02:00 AM Apr, 12, 2006

A computer failure that hobbled border-screening systems at airports across the country last August occurred after Homeland Security officials deliberately held back a security patch that would have protected the sensitive computers from a virus then sweeping the internet, according to documents obtained by Wired News.

The documents raise new questions about the $400 million US-VISIT program, a 2-year-old system aimed at securing the border from terrorists by gathering biometric information from visiting foreign nationals and comparing it against government watch lists.

The Aug. 18 computer failure led to long lines at international airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and elsewhere, while U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, officials processed foreign visitors by hand, or in some cases used backup computers, according to contemporaneous press reports.

Publicly, officials initially attributed the failure to a virus, but later reversed themselves and claimed the incident was a routine system failure.

But two CBP reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the virulent Zotob internet worm infiltrated agency computers the day of the outage, prompting a hurried effort to patch hundreds of Windows-based US-VISIT workstations installed at nearly 300 airports, seaports and land border crossings around the country.

(Click For Full Article)

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