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Trevor Mallard On The Love Bug

8 May 2000
The Love Bug

State Services Minister Trevor Mallard said New Zealand government departments had fared well following the invasion of the Love Bug computer virus.

He said there was no abnormalities in most government departments and the few that had been affected were reporting no major after affects.

"The Ministry of Education seems to be the most affected of all government agencies and officials briefed me this morning. While the virus caused major disruptions to their operations on Friday, they can find no evidence of documents being deleted and order has now been restored.

"Other agencies which took precautionary measures are also back to normal. About five agencies closed their gateways at least temporarily while they worked on protecting themselves from the virus and preventing it being passed on if they did have it.

"Overall I am reasonably pleased with the way the New Zealand state sector coped with the virus. But I do have concerns that some agencies were slow in responding to SSC inquiries on this matter and a few did not respond until late this afternoon.

"We have an advantage in that viruses like the Love Bug and its mutants are more likely to start spreading in the middle of our night so we are protected by a bit of warning time.

"Government's role now is to establish procedures to make sure we utilise that protection. For example, this morning I discussed with Ministry of Education officials ways on which they could 'blitz' staff with information when there are major viruses circulating worldwide.

"I will also be investigating whether we need to set up a rapid response system within the state sector.

"I have not asked for a 'guesstimate' on how much the Love Bug has cost the state sector. I am more interested in using the experience of the last few days to make sure we keep on top of developments to prevent the spread of future viruses," Trevor Mallard said.

Attached: Summary of Govt. Departments affected

Status Departments
OK Education Review Office
OK Department for Courts
OK Land Information NZ
OK Ministry of Social Policy
OK Ministry of Transport
OK National Library
OK Department of Internal Affairs
OK Treasury, The
OK Serious Fraud Office
OK Department of Child, Youth and Family Services
OK ministry of Research, Science and Technology
OK Department of Corrections
OK Ministry of Economic Development
OK Ministry of Youth Affairs
OK now - picked up virus, closed down gateway to quarantine themselves, updated virus scanners etc. Reopened gateway @ 1.30 pm Department of Labour
OK Ministry for the Environment
OK Statistics New Zealand
OK - Turned off gateway, updated firewall, scanners etc. Service restored. NZ Customs Service
OK - counter measures in place - will reopen gateway at 12 pm Monday Ministry of Education
OK Defence Force
OK Ministry of Defence
OK Inland Revenue Department
Now OK - virus scanners updated - virus eliminated - internet e-mail restored. Public Trust Office
Gateway closed - putting counter-measures in place - internet e-mail services expected to be restored by late Monday afternoon. Ministry of Justice
OK Ministry of Women's Affairs
OK Department of Conservation
OK Te Puni Kokiri
OK Audit Office
OK Police
OK Ministry for Culture and Heritage
OK Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs
OK Crown Law Office
OK Parliamentary Services
OK Ministry of Health
OK Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
OK Department of Work and Income
OK Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
OK Ministry of Housing
Now OK - all patches installed, virus scanning eliminated virus from network, services now restored. Ministry of Fisheries
OK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
OK State Services Commission

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