Aardvark Daily
Virus Infects NZ Government Web Site
Copyright © 1997 to Bruce Simpson
Canon Imaging Solutions
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6 Oct 1997

At least one New Zealand Internet user got more than he bargained for this week when he downloaded a document from the New Zealand Government Web site.

Net user Patrick Dunford reports that he downloaded a copy of the Ngai Tahu Settlement from the Government Web site and that his virus scanner detected the existence of the NPAD Word virus in the .doc files concerned.

Dunford's virus scanner was the McAfee Virus Scan and it detected the viruses before they could cause any problems.

Interestingly enough, the downloads page from which the documents were obtained claims that the files had been checked with the Norton Anti-Virus program from Symantec.

This incident further highlights the way in which "macro-viruses" have rapidly become a significant threat to the safety of any system that receives word-processing or spreadsheet files from the Internet.

Aardvark will attempt to get comment from the NZ Government Web site operators to determine exactly how this problem occurred and what steps will be taken in future to avoid a recurrence.

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