Santa Fe city government computers knocked out by worm

Steven M. Bellovin smb at
Mon Nov 17 15:26:18 UTC 2003

In message <Pine.GSO.4.44.0311160612490.5893-100000 at>, Sean 
Donelan writes:
>The US is still losing relatively major city government computer networks
>due to the Nachi/Welchia worm.
>Sante Fe city government's entire computer network was knocked offline
>on Friday by the Nachi worm.  City employees could not access e-mail or
>work with their computers all day Friday, and the Santa Fe Public Library
>was not able to access the Internet.
>Officials say the worm infected the system when an employee downloaded
>music on a city computer.  The article says the worm was able to infect
>the city computer system by first disabling the system's virus detection
>system.  Both statements would be notable because known versions of
>Nachi/Welchia don't spread that way.
>No explaination why Sante Fe officials had not patched the city's
>computers in the three months since Microsoft announced the vulnerability
>and released the software updates.  Nor why Sante Fe didn't have up to
>date anti-virus programs running on its computers.

I draw a different conclusion from the article:  the channel from the 
techs who worked on it to the reporter was lossy...  As you note, Nachi/
Welchia aren't spread by music downloads, nor do they disable AV 
software.  I suspect that a Trojan'ed file-sharing program is more 
likely the culprit.

		--Steve Bellovin,

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