By Thomas Claburn
February 9, 2009
French navy officials suspect than an infected USB drive is to blame for
a Conflicker/Downandup worm infection last month that interfered with
the operation of naval logistics systems running Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)
But a French defense ministry spokesperson has denied reports that the
worm grounded French navy jets, as claimed in The Telegraph and several
Citing a French intelligence publication, Intelligence Online, The
Telegraph in the U.K. reported on Saturday that the Rafale, a plane used
in the French navy, had been grounded following a Conflicker worm
infection that had spread last month throughout the French non-secured
internal naval network called Intramar. The worm supposedly interfered
with French navy's ability to transfer flight data to its planes.
In October, Microsoft issued an out-of-band Security Bulletin, MS08-067,
for a vulnerability affecting its Server service. It warned that the
vulnerability was "potentially wormable." As Microsoft feared, the
vulnerability was wormable and the worm that was released, known as
Conflicker or Downandup, and its variants, affected at least 9 million
PCs last month.
According to French newspaper Ouest France, the worm's impact on
Intramar forced the French navy to "return to conventional means of
communication such as telephone, fax or regular mail" while the
infection was mitigated.
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