Keeping Up the Fight Keeping Up the Fight Internally Created

You don't have to look hard to find examples of public and private organizations that have been hacked by viruses and harmful worms - a quick Internet search will turn up plenty.

The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina reported on Sept. 25, 2009, that 236,000 records at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were compromised by virus activity. The data was from the Carolina Mammography Registry and was being used for a university research project. The intrusion was detected in July, but may have occurred in 2007 and gone undetected for years.

SC Magazine reported in a May 29, 2009, blog post that the personal information of customers at, a provider of mobile equipment batteries, had been exposed and possibly used in identity crimes after a hacker infiltrated a company server. The breach occurred in February and was discovered in March after a customer notified about suspicious activity on a credit card account.

The UK's Daily Mail newspaper reported on Sept. 22 the Clampi virus, a strain of malicious programming that infects computers when a user visits a site containing the code. The virus waits until the user visits a financial site, such as a bank or credit card company, and then captures login and password information. The article claimed that Clampi is spreading quickly across the United States and Britain.

Holes in Armor

These organizations had anti-virus software in place, as most places do, but that wasn't enough. And an August report from Virus Bulletin, a publication informing readers about computer viruses and prevention, offered minimal comfort.

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Hilton Collins, Staff Writer Hilton Collins  | 

Hilton Collins is a former staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines.