For Immediate Release
May 29, 2009
FBI National Press Office
Statement Correcting Factual Errors in New York Post Story on FBI Computers, Dated May 29, 2009
A published report in The New York Post on May 29, 2009, regarding the FBI's external, unclassified computer network contains factual errors and inaccuracies.
The New York Post reported that "a vicious cyber-virus is crippling the FBI's computer and e-mail systems—continuing to jam the G-men's vast communications network more than NINE DAYS after being first detected."
Fact: The FBI's external, unclassified e-mail system is not crippled, nor was it jammed for nine days. The external, unclassified network was shut down by the FBI as a precautionary measure. Within 48 hours of identifying the issue and mitigating risks, e-mail traffic was largely restored to the external, unclassified network.
The New York Post stated, "As of yesterday, sources said, FBI agents were still unable to e-mail their counterparts in other intelligence, law enforcement and legal agencies, a crucial post-9/11 necessity."
Fact: Yesterday, FBI employees were able to send and receive e-mail on the external, unclassified network. As noted above, e-mail traffic was largely restored within 48 hours. The external, unclassified network is generally used for routine communications and messages. It is important to note that the FBI's internal, classified network is where communications and e-mail about sensitive and investigative matters take place and was never affected.
The New York Post also reported, "A source told The Post that field offices across the country could not send or receive e-mails within the bureau yesterday."
Fact: The New York Post e-mailed their questions to the FBI's external, unclassified network and received responses yesterday from the FBI via the same e-mail network that their story claims was not functioning.
Out of an abundance of caution, the FBI has temporarily self-imposed a limit on sending and receiving attachments on our external, unclassified network to give our technicians time to scan all the attachments that came into the e-mail system to make sure we have identified and mitigated all threats to the network.