City Of Norfolk PCs Hit By Malware Attack

The Washington Post

Altogether, the malware attack affected 784 PCs and laptops. City officials said that the city has been working to reinstate the data on those computers following the attack, executed on Feb. 9.

Norfolk city officials said that the malware, which has yet to be specifically identified, was designed to obliterate vital operating files in the Windows/System32 folder on vulnerable machines, reducing them to about a third of their normal size.

Hap Cluf, Norfolk director of the information technology department told The Washington Post that he didn't believe the attack was launched via the Web, but said that it could have been a "time bomb," designed to melt data on users' desktops.

Thus far, IT administrators determined the distribution source of the malware was a print server that handled printing jobs for Norfolk City Hall. However the malicious code on that system may not be recovered, due to the fact that IT administrators destroyed it while rebuilding the print server, The Washington Post reported.

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Cluf added that city employees were encouraged to back up data to file servers, which were able to withstand the attack. However, many employees failed to do so, instead storing critical documents on their desktops, which ultimately compromised the security of the data.

The City of Norfolk said it was treating the incident like a crime and have subsequently contacted the FBI. City officials will also quarantine numerous PCs from various locations in an effort to further analyze the details of the attack.