“A break-in targeting State Department computers worldwide last summer occurred after a department employee in Asia opened a mysterious e-mail that quietly allowed hackers inside the U.S. government’s network,” Ted Bridis reports for The Associated Press.
Bridis reports, “In the first public account revealing details about the intrusion and the government’s hurried behind-the-scenes response, a senior State Department official described an elaborate ploy by sophisticated international hackers. They used a secret break-in technique that exploited a design flaw in Microsoft software.”
“Consumers using the same software remained vulnerable until months afterward,” Bridis reports. “Donald R. Reid, the senior security coordinator for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, also confirmed that a limited amount of U.S. government data was stolen by the hackers until tripwires severed all the State Department’s Internet connections throughout eastern Asia. The shut-off left U.S. government offices without Internet access in the tense weeks preceding missile tests by North Korea.”
Bridis reports, “The mysterious State Department e-mail appeared to be legitimate and included a Microsoft Word document with material from a congressional speech related to Asian diplomacy, Reid said. By opening the document, the employee activated hidden software commands establishing what Reid described as backdoor communications with the hackers.”
“The technique exploited a previously unknown design flaw in Microsoft’s Office software, Reid said. State Department officials worked with the Homeland Security Department and even the FBI to urge Microsoft to develop quickly a protective software patch, but the company did not offer the patch until Aug. 8 – roughly eight weeks after the break-in,” Bridis reports. “Microsoft said it works as quickly as possible to provide customers with security updates.”
Full article here.
You’ve got morons in government and then you’ve got the true idiots who choose their software. Note to U.S. gov’t: Microsoft sucks. Sheesh.
To whomever thought up the brilliant idea to utilize Microsoft’s junk that isn’t even fit for Wal-Mart consumers’ use in the State Department: It’s amazing you can even breathe and blink and such, as even involuntary actions require a some brain cells. Is it painful to be so morbidly retarded? Or are you just blissfully unaware of everything and anything 24/7?
If the State Department used Macs instead, none of this would have happened – and that’s a fact.
Related articles (warning may contain some irony):
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