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Nimda Disables Fla. Court Computers

November 8, 2001 GMT

MIAMI (AP) _ Federal courts in South Florida reverted Wednesday to a paper-driven system to track thousands of cases following an assault by an updated version of the Nimda computer worm.

The viruslike program infected the Miami-based court system on Halloween, but repairs were too slow to prevent a crash Monday.

Computers were being fixed terminal by terminal and workers were told they might have to track their work on paper through Friday.

The court’s computer chief refused comment on the virus.

The federal court’s national computer system also came under attack on Oct 31, but was repaired over the weekend. Court files were never in jeopardy, said Karen Redmond, spokeswoman for the Administrative Office for U.S. Courts.

Nimda.E, discovered Oct. 29, is the latest version of a worm that first appeared in mid-September. It has better anti-detection protection than the original and can re-infect computer files, making them immune to repairs and unrecoverable.

The worm disables Windows-based computers by sending itself out by e-mail and creating a blizzard of junk messages.

The targeted Windows software is typically found on computers running Microsoft Windows NT or 2000 and does not affect most home users.