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Virus Infects Police Computer System In Durham NH

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DURHAM, N.H. (CBS/AP) – A virus has infected the police department computer system in Durham, New Hampshire.

Town Manager Todd Selig said an officer opened what appeared to be a legitimate file attachment to an email Thursday night. By Friday morning, widespread issues were reported within the department’s computer system.

Luke Vincent, Durham’s manager of information technology, said a virus called Cryptowall managed to bypass the town’s spam filters and anti-virus software. He took the department’s computer system offline.

Selig said the town is taking steps to segregate the affected computers, eradicate the virus and reload computers with backup files.

“This is why backups are essential — we prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.  But when the worst occurs, we are ready,” Selig said.

Cryptowall and Cryptodefense are copycat viruses similar to Cryptolocker, a brand of malicious software that encrypts a user’s hard drive, effectively putting their data under lock and key, unless they pay a ransom.

“Make no mistake, the Town of Durham will be paying no ransom,” Selig commented.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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