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Council temp fired after virus outbreak

Aberdeen Council call in the rozzers

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A council worker in Aberdeen has been sacked after technicians traced the spread of a destructive virus - which crippled the authority's network - back to him.

An unnamed temporary agency worker, believed to have been employed in Aberdeen City Council's housing department, was fired earlier this week for allegedly allowing a destructive virus to infect the council's computer systems, the Aberdeen Press and Journal reports.

The Council had to shut down its "entire computer and email system" on Monday after the virus, called Metrion Cascade 111, was discovered.

"It is estimated that there are up to 200 PCs infected with the virus and as a precautionary measure to prevent it spreading the entire network was closed down," a council spokesman told the paper.

"We still don't know the full extent of the damage but it may a few days for records to be fully restored."

The virus, contains the text "Metrion Cascade II -icarus" and is better known as Metrion-B. It is a destructive virus which infects executable and overwrites batch files and HTML files. Normally it does not spread by email, suggesting the Aberdeen outbreak may have been brought in via a floppy disc or downloaded from the Internet though this is far from clear.

Aberdeen Council believes the virus may have been introduced deliberately. Grampian Police are investigating the incident following a complaint by the council about its former employee, the Aberdeen Press and Journal reports.

It is the second time this year that the council has fallen victim to virus infection.

In February, many council workers were unable to work from their PCs or access files after the outbreak of a virus thought to have infected 1,000 computers. The outbreak turned to have been not as severe as first feared but the clean up operation still cost the council (by its own estimates) £10,000 to repair the damage caused. ®

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