Feeds

MoD networks still malware-plagued after two weeks

Officials: But all our base email are belong to us

Security for virtualized datacentres

Ongoing malware problems at the Ministry of Defence have left some officials and service personnel still without desktop computing, a fortnight after infections began. However, the MoD insists that media reports of its email being sent to Russia are untrue.

MoD officials confirmed to the Register this morning that some ministry systems are still unavailable, though it was claimed that "most" of the infected machines have now been restored to use. Though spokesmen were unwilling to discuss specifics of the malware involved, they did say "the virus has not been targeted specifically at the MOD" and confirmed that others on the wider internet would have been affected by the same issue.

This would appear to lend credence to suggestions that the MoD is suffering from some version of the Conficker/Downadup worm also wreaking widespread damage elsewhere. MoD officials have insisted throughout that their problems have been limited to administrative nets used mainly for email and other ordinary desktop services - including the NavyStar/N* desktops aboard Royal Navy warships. All such MoD systems are based on ordinary industry PCs running Windows, and as such could be vulnerable to Conficker/Downadup.

The Sunday Times, indeed, reported this weekend that RAF emails had been "sent to a Russian internet server". MoD spokesmen confirmed to the Reg today that the malware infecting their systems did "try to dial home to different domains", but insisted that the ministry's "pre-existing security measures" had prevented this - and so had "prevented any loss of classified or personal data".

The MoD also stated that no command or operational systems - for instance the new Windows-based combat command architecture now universal in Royal Navy submarines, and rolling out into the surface fleet - had fallen victim to the infection. Officials added that no system handling information graded higher than Restricted had been affected at all.

Reports and Reg reader emails have suggested that at the height of the infection as many as three-quarters of the Royal Navy's warships had their N* nets infected, and more than 20 RAF stations. Readers have also reported infections at other MoD facilities. Official spokesmen refused to confirm or deny the extent of the problems, and could offer no timeline by which the ministry's networks would be fully restored. However, they did issue a statement saying:

A solution to clean infected systems and prevent re-infection has been tested and is being implemented. The majority of systems are working normally, however remedial action is ongoing on some systems so for those people who are still off-line normal business will resume as quickly as possible.

It was confirmed that reinfection had been an issue in cleaning up the virus, with some systems having to be disconnected from networks or turned off in order to prevent recurring problems. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.