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

Audacious 3.8.1 Open-Source Music Player Supports Opus Cover Art in the Info Bar

More than two months after the release of the major Audacious 3.8 open-source and cross-platform music player software for GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows operating system, the first maintenance update arrives on December 6, 2016. Read more

Ubuntu Core has the keys to IoT security

In October, a DDoS attack on Dyn's infrastructure took down a big chunk of the internet, making sites like Amazon and Twitter inaccessible. It was the first major attack involving IoT (internet of things) devices. Fortunately, it was also a benign attack: no one got hurt, no one died. However, the next attack could be catastrophic. No one knows when it will happen. No one knows the magnitude. Read more

Android Marshmallow on PC Falls Flat

The Android-x86 Project eventually may become a viable operating system alternative for your desktop and laptops computers, but it's not there yet. You will have to wait a while for the developers to fix a number of failures with the latest release upgrading Android-x86 to Marshmallow 6.0.1. The developers late this summer released the first stable version of Android-x86 6.0, codenamed "Marshmallow." Android-x86 lets you run the Android OS with the Google Chrome browser on your desktop and laptop computers, rather than buying one of the qualified Chromebooks with the Google Play Store features bolted on. Read more

Korora 25 Linux Released, Based on Fedora 25 Ships with Cinnamon 3.2, MATE 1.16

On December 7, 2016, the development team behind the Fedora-based Korora Linux operating system proudly announced the release and general availability of Korora 25. Read more