Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Customs Computer Virus Strands Passengers

Filed under
Security

Travelers arriving in the United States from abroad were stuck in long lines at airports nationwide when a virus shut down an U.S. Customs and Border Protection computer system for several hours, officials said.

Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said the virus impacted computer systems at a number of airports Thursday night, including those in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and Laredo, Texas.

Knocke said customs agents immediately switched to manual inspections. He declined to provide details on where the computer virus originated but said Friday the investigation remained open.

The worst delays appeared to be at Miami International Airport, where about 4,000 to 5,000 people waited to clear immigration, airport spokesman Greg Chin said. The passengers were not permitted to leave the area before then, but they all went through by midnight, he said. Everything was back to normal Friday.

Brian Hunt and his wife, who were visiting from Spain, said it took them nearly five hours to be processed.

"The agent was very charming, very nice and greeted us with a smile," he told The Miami Herald. "It was just an unfortunate thing, but these things happen. Who do we blame?"

The computer problem originated in database systems located in Virginia and lasted from around 6 p.m. until about 11:30 p.m., said Zachary Mann, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in southern Florida.

At New York's airports, customs officials processed passengers by hand. Officials used backup computer systems to keep passengers moving at Los Angeles International Airport, where computers were down only briefly and delays from six flights lasted up to 2 1/2 hours.

"It was during a light time of travel for international passengers at LAX," said Mike Fleming, customs spokesman in Los Angeles. "All systems have been restored to full capacity."

By LISA ORKIN EMMANUEL
Associated Press

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat CTO unexpectedly quits, amid rumors of executive 'friction'

No-one among the rank and file at Red Hat seem to have seen this coming. In a move the Linux giant's staffers said was "shocking" and a "punch in the gut," long-time Red Hat chief technology officer Brian Stevens has resigned. In a short press release, the company announced: "Brian Stevens will step down as CTO." In the same release, Red Hat's president and chief executive Jim Whitehurst said, "We want to thank Brian for his years of service and numerous contributions to Red Hat’s business. We wish him well in his future endeavors." Read more

Is Microsoft engaging in digital imperialism?

Windows, the common carrier of Microsoft, is such a sordid mess that it suffers regular glitches and conducts mass surveillance on users. Microsoft knows that without Windows it cannot survive, so dirty tricks resume in a very big way. This is not a beep on the radar but somewhat of a surge. Nothing is going to change in Munich, but Microsoft is trying to maintain an international/universal perception that the migration to GNU/Linux was a disaster. Numerous anonymous blogs were created to attack Munich over this and provocateurs of Microsoft loved citing them, only to be repeatedly proven wrong. Microsoft is trying to make an example out of Munich in all sorts of nefarious ways. We need to defend Munich from this malicious assault by the convicted monopolist and corrupt enterprise that’s acting as though it fights for its very survival (while indeed laying off tens of thousands of employees). Read more

Shortlist of open source software used at NASA lab

Yes! We use a lot of open source. The short list includes Python, GitHub, Processing, VLC, jQuery, D3.js, Blender, VRUI, ImageJ, VMD, ParaView, MeshLab, VNC, ImageMagick, SWIG, Emacs, and many more. We like using open source because it gives us more flexibility because of licensing and allows us the opportunity to contribute back to the community using our expertise. Our favorite open source project that we work on is OpenMDAO. This project is run out of another Division at our Center. Our team provides some programming support. OpenMDAO is an open source Multidisciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization (MDAO) framework, written in Python. You can use it to develop an integrated analysis and design environment for your engineering challenges. Read more

GSoC: Thumping the Malaria and voyaging in cosmos with KStars

Let's talk about my project now. KStars is desktop planetarium application under KDE Education Projects. I developed QML based cool interface to enable users to browse through image database of community of astrophotographers (i.e. astrobin.com) which contains more than 1,20,000 (number is increasing everyday) real time and very high resolution images along with various information related to them (i.e. Date on which image was captured, Bortle Dark-Sky Scale, RA Centre, DEC Centre, Telescope or Camera used, Description added by astrophotographer etc). I am sure that this browser will enthrall school children by showing them real time images of stars and galaxies located at hundreds of light year far from earth. Read more