Nimda hits Parliament House

Federal parliament is the latest victim of the Nimda virus that is spreading rapidly across Australian corporate networks.

Senate President Margaret Reid confirmed Parliament House was forced to shut down its Web site and internal staff e-mail as a result of the virus, but the network was restored yesterday.

"The latest virus detection software is used to protect the parliamentary network; however, because of the sophistication of the virus, the software is not able to prevent it entering the network when users visit other infected Internet sites," she told the Senate.

"[But] e-mails carrying the virus are being successfully denied entry into the network."

The South Australian Government was also hit, losing 5 per cent of its servers.

SA Information Services Minister Robert Lawson said several Government services were affected by the worm.

"As a precaution, sections of the network were shut down overnight to prevent further dissemination of the virus," Lawson said.

According to media reports, Nimda has also caused havoc at News Ltd and the National Australia Bank.

Antivirus company Trend Micro has given the worm a high-risk classification, warning it can spread three ways: through e-mail, servers with IIS installed and network-shared drives.

There have also been reports of it spreading via file attachments with .wav and .com.

Trend Micro research director Joe Hartmann said it is a complex virus that has taken the Internet "by storm".

"It appears to be a compilation of several recent virus threats but the extent of damage is yet to be determined," he said.

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