Various news reports like this one from the BBC and this one from The Register say that the Greater Manchester Police discovered that their computer system had been infected with the Conficker worm last Friday. As a result, the police had to disconnect from the UK's national criminal database to keep it from spreading for some five days until it was completely eradicated.
While emphasizing that the crime log system was not tampered with and that day-to-day policing wasn't affected, the Greater Manchester police could not run checks on suspects, vehicles or property using the Police National Computer.
While it is not known how the system became infected, the betting is by an infected memory stick.
It was a year ago next week that Microsoft offered a $250,000 reward for information that results in the arrest and conviction of those responsible for illegally launching the Conficker worm on the Internet.
Still no reported takers.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.