Government buys virus blocking from MessageLabs

We could tell you more but then we'd have to kill you

The Government has signed up managed services firm MessageLabs to protect Whitehall departments against mass-mailing viruses, in a deal worth over £1 million a year.

The GSI (Government Secure Intranet), which provides the secure network infrastructure for all Government departments, decided to take on additional anti-virus protection due to the recent growth in mass mailing virus outbreaks. Increased sensitivity about security risks post-September 11 was also a factor in convincing the Government to sign up to the service, which it has been trialing since last year, MessageLabs CTO Mark Sunner told us.

Cable & Wireless provides the infrastructure for the GSI; and MessageLabs' SkyScan managed anti-virus service has been delivered through them.

Any loss of email access caused by a mass mailing virus could be critical for the Government, hence the decision to take on the service, which blocks virus contaminated emails before they reach a client's network.

So does the deal mean government computers have been hit by viruses like the Love Bug, Melissa and Nimda in the past?

You may well think so, we couldn't possibly comment... ®

Sponsored: Today’s most dangerous security threats