FBI, U.S. Marshals reconnect after security problems

Both agencies had taken some systems offline last week

The FBI’s external unclassified network is once again online after officials last week temporarily suspended its connection to the Internet because of “an identified network security issue,” according to the bureau. Meanwhile, the U.S. Marshals Service said its workstations that were affected last week by a virus should be fixed by May 28.

The Associated Press reported May 21 that the FBI and the U.S. Marshals -- both part of the Justice Department -- were forced to shut down part of their networks as a precaution after law enforcement computers were hit by a “mystery computer virus.”

In a statement Tuesday, the FBI said the “issue, as it affects the FBI, was contained and addressed” and that “external e-mail communications on the unclassified network have resumed.” The bureau added that “certain limitations on materials sent through the Internet may remain in place while our technicians work to complete the installation of security upgrades.”

Meanwhile, Jeff Carter, a spokesman for U.S. Marshals confirmed a virus on the service's network, but he said it had infected only 140 out of the approximately 6,800 workstations throughout the service's districts and headquarters. "These machines have been removed from the system and their repair should be complete May 28," he said. "All other Marshals Service workstations have full internal and external system connections."

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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