Navy IT officials at Naples issue warning about computer virus
July 29, 2005
NAPLES, Italy — Fear not, Navy flag officers are not personally e-mailing you.
A virus has been worming its way through military e-mail accounts in messages purportedly from Navy admirals seeking to give readers updated information on the London terrorist bombings, officials said.
On Thursday, Navy information technology officials at Naval Support Activity Naples issued a stern warning via in-house messaging to the nearly 2-week-old problem that could let outsiders gain access to users’ computers.
“Do Not Click on This Link! This is Not an Official E-mail,” reads a portion of the warning issued via e-mail. As of Thursday, no one at Naples had been affected by the virus-laden e-mail messages, said base spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Jacky Fisher.
“Beginning July 12, multiple e-mails were disseminated across the Navy enterprise falsely appearing as official correspondence from Navy flag officers,” said Donald Brown, with Naples’ information technology office. “Within the e-mails’ ‘from’ line, the naval officer’s name is displayed followed by a non-Navy or DOD e-mail addressing scheme.
“The e-mails contain unconfirmed information pertaining to … [the] London terrorist bombings and also provide a URL reference for the reader to visit to obtain additional information,” Brown said.
A URL is the Uniform Resource Locator, or the unique address that identifies the location of a Web page on the Internet and is used for routing purposes. Clicking on the URL could open the door to hackers and allow access to users’ computers.
The Navy Computer Incident Response Team, based in Norfolk, Va., issued protective measures:
Delete the e-mail immediately.Do not open the e-mail.Do not reply to the e-mail.Do not click on the attached URL.While most Navy-system computers already are protected by software, users who open or click on the link should contact their local Help Desk to ensure the virus didn’t contaminate their computers or the network system, Brown recommended.