April 12, 2006


A computer failure that hobbled border-screening systems at airports across the country last August occurred after Homeland Security officials deliberately held back a security patch that would have protected the sensitive computers from a virus then sweeping the internet, according to documents obtained by Wired News.

The documents raise new questions about the $400 million US-VISIT program, a 2-year-old system aimed at securing the border from terrorists by gathering biometric information from visiting foreign nationals and comparing it against government watch lists.

It's not entirely their fault, but rather an indication that (1) security systems probably shouldn't be running Windows; and (2) most big organizations can't move as fast as virus writers.