How not to respond to garden variety malware.

Filed in GovernmentTags: , , , ,

destory_all_the_thingsAn article over at Ars Technica tells of the Economic Development Administration (a branch of the Department of Commerce) and what is so far the worst response to a possible mal-ware infestation I’ve heard this year; destroying $170,000+ in equipment.  They didn’t destroy the rest (an additional $3m) because they ran out of money to destroy it.  Go read the article, it’s a fascinating view into the mind of a very strange CIO.  I’ll wait.

It’s really kind of disturbing that a division of the Dept of Commerce devoted to promoting “economic development in regions of the US suffering low growth, low employment, and other economic problems” has so much technological incompetence that they’d destroy hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment, including mice, keyboards, monitors, printers to clean up.. get this.. SIX computers infected with garden variety mal-ware.

Details at the link, but this paragraph pretty much says it all:

“EDA’s CIO, fearing that the agency was under attack from a nation-state, insisted instead on a policy of physical destruction. The EDA destroyed not only (uninfected) desktop computers but also printers, cameras, keyboards, and even mice. The destruction only stopped—sparing $3 million of equipment—because the agency had run out of money to pay for destroying the hardware.”

That’s right. They destroyed ONLY $170,000 in equipment because they ran out of money to destroy all of it.  Spending another $1m to rent replacement equipment only makes matters worse.

These are the people who’s job is economic development.  If they’re this inept at something as trivial as managing their IT infrastructure, how the hell can we have any faith in their ability to handle something as complex as economic development in depressed areas?

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July 2013