Recently, the computers of the Law Enforcement offices in US were struck by an unknown virus. Both the offices of the US Marshals and FBI had to disconnect parts of their networks, in order to halt the progress of the rapidly spreading virus. The PCs of the US Marshals’ offices were disconnected from the network of the Justice Department, so that the PCs in the Justice Department offices would not get infected. FBI officials commented that their offices had faced similar problems and took similar precautions, just to be on the safe side, while they tried to fix the problem. Internet access was cut off from a large number of PCs in both the offices, while the e-mail clients were also blocked on a number of workstations.

FBI representative Mike Kortan commented, “We too are evaluating a network issue on our external, unclassified network that’s affecting several government agencies.” US Marshals’ spokesperson Nikki Credic confirmed that no data was compromised from their computers due to the disconnection procedure being run on time. None of the agencies have yet been able to pinpoint the origin and the type of the mysterious virus, which was strong enough to bring large sections of the world’s most secure networks to a standstill.

There is definitely a serious lesson to be learned here, not just by Government agencies, but by any PC user who connects to the internet on a regular basis. If you surf the internet regularly, your PC certainly faces a lot of security threats. Worms and viruses run amok through the internet these days. Even worse are hackers, who love to snoop around other people’s PCs, looking for e-mail passwords, personally identifiable information and worst of all, credit card numbers and other financial data.

The only reliable way to prevent this is to keep a good antivirus program installed in your PC, and updating it often. This keeps your antivirus software to have the definition files of all latest viruses that have been released on the internet recently. This helps it to recognize the virus files and remove those from your system, before those can do any serious damage. Unless you update your antivirus, it may not be able to recognize most recently released viruses as threats. So keep your antivirus updated at all times. That will protect your PC from a lot of threats.

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