Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Expensive Ignorance: Ministry scrapped 170 computer for viruses - STERN.DE

 viruses, Conficker, 170 computer, calculator, 187.300 EUR, Ministry

expensive battle against computer viruses: A Ministry in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania replaced 170 computers infected with malicious software with new appliances ©

V Irish, worms and Trojans are annoying not only on private computers. Above all, companies are afraid of cyber pests that could spy on explosive data and damage expensive hardware. If, despite all precautions, but once a computer is infected, the excitement is often large.

the Ministry of Education in Schwerin, it was obviously too big: 170 Because of the computer teacher training institute IQMV were infested (Institute for Quality Development Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) in Schwerin, Rostock and Greifswald from relatively harmless Conficker worm, which were contaminated computer from the IT department summarily discarded and replaced with new equipment. The exchange with subsequent re-backup the user data cost 187,300 euros.

Brand New Computer disposed

Some of the equipment had still been “brand new” at the time of infection in September 2010, writes the “Ostsee-Zeitung”, which refers to an annual report by the Court of Audit of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The document already appeared in December 2012, but only now attracted attention. As it says in the report: “At the time of interference by ‘massive virus attack’, which was accompanied by significant limitations of the ability to work at the Institute, so there was no functioning IT security concept.”

with free tools to remove the malicious software

Instead, the devices were easily replaced at the expense of the taxpayer. “Alternatives to purchasing were not seriously considered,” the state audit. The cause of the infestation of the 170 computer is still unclear. “Protocols of the anti-virus software, despite repeated requests could be submitted only to the Greifswald”, criticized the report, where “however, was not a massive fund to remove viruses at the relevant time.”

Human error?

This was left open which computers were infected with malicious software, by which pest it is actually acted and whether “the virus scanner was configured incorrectly and that the outbreak is due to human or technical error.” Only one employee was entrusted to August 2010 with the support and supervision of the IT systems of teacher training institute, says the report of the Court of Audit.

The conclusion of the examiner is clear: “The approach taken is not up to the principle of efficiency and economy.” Likewise chaotic as in fault diagnosis, the Ministry seems to have acted on replacement of the equipment: Only nine months after the costly replacement of the last PC in Rostock was put into operation


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