Economic Development Administration Destroyed Its Computer System to Defeat Non-Existent Cyber Attack
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) destroyed hundreds of computers, printers, monitors and mice to eradicate a computer virus threat that didn’t exist.
The blunder cost EDA nearly $3 million last year, wiping out about half of the agency’s IT budget.
How did such a mistake happen? Poor communication, bad decision-making, email blunders, and a serious misunderstanding of what malware can do.
EDA’s chief technology officer ordered the equipment destroyed after being told by the Department of Commerce’s cyber incident response team that 146 out of 250 systems on the department’s network had been hit by a large-scale malware cyber-attack.
It turned out this number was way off—only two computers actually had a virus.
But that doesn’t explain why the agency’s top IT official thought it was necessary to not only destroy all the computers, but also discard keyboards, monitors, mice, cameras and even televisions—when such equipment isn’t vulnerable to malware.
It took nearly a year for the agency to recover, building up its system again from scratch.
To Learn More:
Federal Agency Spent Millions Destroying Computers for No Reason At All (by Stephen C. Webster, Raw Story)
EDA's Overreaction to Cyber Attack Highlights Every Agency's Challenge (by Jason Miller, Federal News Radio)
Economic Development Administration: Malware Infections on EDA’s Systems Were Overstated and the Disruption of IT Operations Was Unwarranted (Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Commerce) (pdf)
State Fires Contractor and Wants $50 Million Back for Troubled Computer Project (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)
Another State Technology Project Goes Awry; This One Costs $371 Million (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)
New In-Home Care Payment Computer System Grinds to a Halt (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)
FBI and Secret Service Struggle with Outdated Computer Systems (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Measles Outbreak at Disneyland and Elsewhere Blamed on Foreign Visitors and Anti-Vaccine Movement
- Largest Area of Federal Waters in U.S. to be auctioned for Offshore Wind Power Projects
- Justice Dept. Pays $134,000 to Woman Who Sued Over Use of Her Identity in Fake Facebook Page for DEA Operation
- Half of California's Big Trees Are Gone
- Saudi Arabia’s New King, Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud Has Been Target of Lawsuits by Survivors of 9/11 Attacks