back to article Another NHS hospital stricken with Conficker virus

The infamous Conficker worm has infected yet another NHS facility. Computer systems at the West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust were infected by the worm last Friday, leaving hospital staff unable to book appointments via computer. The outbreak has been contained but some hospital IT systems remain unavailable, resulting …

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FAIL

Seriously

NHS FAIL yet again. As they say, the 100000000th time is the charm!

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WTF?

Oh come on people

I've not managed to infect a windows client as long as I don't logon as an administrator this is one of the main issues users still logging on as an admin.

NT4 hasn't been supported for a long time tut tut.

Simple rules:

1. Disable auto run

2. Upto date AV and patches, come on it's not even a new patch or threat.

3. NO ONE LOGS ON AS ADMINISTRATOR

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Gates Horns

New spread is via Email

I've noticed Conficker being spread in the last week or so via email. There's thousands of emails flying about now with it as an attachment - claiming to be from Microsoft. The mail typically looks like this:

----- Original Message -----

From: Microsoft Team <jcurley@epitiro.com>

Sent: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 09:41:04 +0000 (GMT)

Subject: Conflicker.B Infection Alert

Dear Microsoft Customer,

Starting 12/11/2009 the ‘Conficker’ worm began infecting Microsoft customers unusually rapidly. Microsoft has been advised by your Internet provider that your network is infected.

To counteract further spread we advise removing the infection using an antispyware program. We are supplying all effected Windows Users with a free system scan in order to clean any files infected by the virus.

Please install attached file to start the scan. The process takes under a minute and will prevent your files from being compromised. We appreciate your prompt cooperation.

Regards,

Microsoft Windows Agent #2 (Hollis)

Microsoft Windows Computer Safety Division

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Had the same here...

Almost similar email, comes with attachment "open.zip" Which is no doubt an exe file.

Lucky the user was savvy enough to realise not to click on it... must have learned his lesson after bringing down out network last year.

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FAIL

Finger trouble

Having supported NHS users in a busy hospital as part of a comparatively small IT department, I'd go along with the responsibility-shifting antics and old kit / software sentiments. You bet. It happens. I've got dragged into entire department moves with 10 minutes notice - because no-one wondered if moving 24 computers, high-capacity workgroup printers and switches would have any IT impact whatsoever.

But the vector that isn't mentioned here is the wetware angle - that the NHS employs, to work in admin, some of the most paradigm-shiftingly stupid people you have ever met. No, really. You'd agree if you'd spent 15 minutes arguing that a larger monitor is incapable of slowing a PC down ('but my husband said so - and he's an IT consultant'). Or, for example, get told that servers are 'silly' (no, really), waste electricity and 'should be turned off when the last person has gone home'.

There is a dangerous dearth of common sense among 80% of these people, and so as you can expect, security savvy is non-existent among the user base. Forget it. If it can happen, it will with these people.

These people are in charge of getting you access to medical professionals. Think about that for a moment.

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Anonymous Coward

letters and/or digits

Staff are arguing with you because they want smaller monitors? Should have given them what they wanted and broken out the most heinous, filth encrusted, 12" CRT in the building.

Plonk it on their desk, connect it up and shout "WOW you were right that really IS faster, I've gotta steal one of these babies for home" then walk away and leave them to it.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Finger trouble →

Having managed IT operations for a trust covering a county, I can certainly agree. And yes, I had entire sites just deciding they were going to move without telling either facilities or IT and then demanding large amounts of support at no notice.

Has anybody else had the experience of a senior member of the IT department deciding the update server needs to be shut down because of complaints that rolling out patches across hospitals connected by an obviously inadequate N3 link is creating "clinical risk"?

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Silver badge

Actually...

In a round about way a larger monitor can slow down a PC...

Larger monitor = higher resolution, which will work the graphics card a bit harder... If the machine is one of those nasty cheap designs with shared video and system ram, the ram used for the extra pixels is memory not available for windows to much on.

However I agree that most users shouldn't be trusted with anything more than a left click.

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Flame

Sorry, who's stupid?

I draw your attention to the last sentence of paragraph 2:

http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2010/02/08/9959494.aspx

to quote:

..."Pplu wonders why programs run more slowly when the system is running with multiple monitors.

Well, for one thing, of course, when you have more than one monitor, there's more stuff on the screen for the system to keep track of. It's the same reason that programs run more slowly on a large monitor than on a small monitor."

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Anonymous Coward

re finger trouble

The great Raymondo has something to say on the subject of monitors slowing things down - http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2010/02/08/9959494.aspx - first para, second sentence.

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FAIL

Clueless

I have come across the muppet who runs the IT Department at this Hospital and some of the poor demotivated and depressed staff who have previously worked under him. Therefore this story is of no surprise as his managerial style was reported as of total control and humiliation to anyone who may question his word. Result; nothing gets done as everyone is too scared to act and show some initiative.

Let's face it, the NHS anyway has a history of ineptitude and getting nothing done. It really is the last stop for the truly useless.

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over a year

Microsoft caused the initial problem but the patch has been out for over a year.

So why are the fixes not being applied?

Put another way, if the people who have been in charge of applying the fixes *remain* in charge of applying the fixes -- then "follow the money". Someone's being paid off for the contract

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Coat

smooth...?

"resulting in ongoing delays to patients and affecting the smooth running of the medical facility"

O_o

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Hacks, please ask the right questions

These reports are a bit tireseome if we don't hear the following information from the interviewee

- whether they have a network-wide, server based AV system

- if so, what is the name of it (so we can avoid")

- how frequently client machines get updated

- how they ensure Windows PCs get updated with latest patches.

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