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Virus Affects Baltimore PD Computers

March 19, 2015  | 

A virus has slowed Baltimore police's computer system but police say it doesn't affect any dispatch capabilities or emergency functions.

The virus known as "W32.Qakbot" was discovered recently as information technology workers were trying to figure out what has been slowing the department's computers for months, police spokesman Capt. John Kowalczyk told the Baltimore Sun.

According to Symantec, a company that creates antivirus products, the virus "downloads additional files, steals information, and opens a back door on the compromised computer." It's unclear how extensive the virus has spread through the department's network, though officials said "hundreds" of computers could be infected. Police have hired a consultant to help assess and repair the damage, Kowalczyk said.

Police believe a lack of proper software updates and other checkups allowed the virus to take root, Kowalczyk said. Police do not suspect that any information has been compromised or stolen, he said.

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