By ALISON YOUNG
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Computer hackers tapped into a Web site at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention last week, planting a virus that has possibly
infected computers used by people who visited the site, agency officials
CDC's podcast site, www.cdc.gov/podcasts, which contains audio and video
on a variety of public health topics, has been taken off the agency's
Web site and is expected to be down for at least a few days.
"At this time, CDC does not have any evidence that sensitive information
has been compromised in any way. However, it is possible that computers
used by visitors to CDC's site may have been infected with a computer
virus," the agency said in a news item posted Saturday evening at
"Users that visited the site Thursday morning should ensure their
computer has been scanned for viruses."
The Atlanta-based agency became aware on Thursday morning that the
podcast site had been hacked, the news release said.
"As a precaution, CDC has removed the Podcast site and we anticipate the
site will be down for the next few days. We are working to make sure the
Podcast site is safe, and we will repost it in a few days," the agency
"The virus entered the system Thursday morning and within just a few
hours we had deactivated the site," CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.
During that window of time, the CDC estimates there were "several
hundred" visits to the podcasts Web site, he said. Skinner said he did
not have any information Sunday about the nature of the virus.
"The investigation is ongoing, but we believe if there is going to be a
problem, hopefully it will be limited in scope because of the fact we
were able to detect the virus and take the site down," Skinner said.
Since CDC launched its podcasts Web site in July, the podcasts homepage
has received 40,000 visits, Skinner said. Information about how many
podcast subscribers and users may be affected by the site being down was
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