Beat cops at the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have been disconnected from the Police National Computer (PNC) system database for three days after their machines were stultified by the infamous Conficker virus, it has been reported.
A report published in the Manchester Evening News on Tuesday cited that the virus attacked the machines over the last weekend and rapidly spread all through the force.
The disconnection from PNC left the officers unable to carry out computer checks on criminals and suspected vehicles for the last couple of days.
The worm was probably intruded into the GMP systems after an already infested memory stick was plugged into one of the Windows systems there.
The virus hit the GMP’s network on last Friday and began spreading throughout the force, prompting GMP to cut off its access to PNC unless the virus outbreak arrested.
Dave Thompson, Assistant Chief Constable, told the newspaper: “The virus is not destructive and no data has been lost, but due to the speed it has spread we have temporarily cut off our access to the PNC and other Criminal Justice systems to prevent further infection”.
He further told that a team of technical experts was working to bring the situation back to normalcy, and that the system wouldn’t reconnect until they are sure of complete security.
Conficker, otherwise known as Downup, Downadup and Kido, still carries a major disruptive effect mroe than one year after it was first discovered. Armed forces appear to have been particularly affected by the malware. The latest Conficker E is also particularly nasty.