Waldo Company has had a problem with one of its employees using the computer network to play games. In the past the company has not been very strict about controlling the use of the company’s network because employees often have slack time during the off- season. Recently, however, a serious problem has occurred. It appears that one of the game programs run on the network server contained a virus. The virus is a special type of computer program that can cause considerable damage to a network when run with other computer pro-grams in the system concurrently. The virus “looks around” the network and checks to see if other computer programs in the network are infected with the virus. If not, the virus program will then infect them. Part of the infection process involves making certain random changes to the other programs. These random changes are such that the infected program will produce unpredictable or invalid results at some specified date subsequent to the infection. For example, an accounting program might be modified so that it will scramble all the accounting databases exactly 6 months after its infection. The nature of the virus is particularly bad because a program, once infected, has the ability to spread the infection to other programs. Therefore, once a virus is introduced into a computer network, all programs in the net-work might be infected in a matter of a couple of weeks. To make things worse, the infection process may carry to all the company’s backup copies as well. This is particularly true if the virus program lies dormant for a long period of time before producing its disastrous results.
On June 15, this company went into a major state of disaster. The virus had evidently invaded all major portions of the computer network. The network database manager looked with great horror to find that all the databases were completely scrambled. To make things worse, backup copies were scrambled as well. Inspection of the backup copies of databases revealed that they were completely worthless. As a result, the company was unable to do its accounts receivable billing. Two months later, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Discuss the means by which this problem should have been prevented.

  • CreatedFebruary 26, 2015
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