Worm fears lead Defense to limit access to site

Worm fears lead Defense to limit access to site

The Defense Department shut down its Tricare health care Web site to beneficiaries and providers late last month as a result of the Code Red worm.

The Joint Task Force-Computer Network Operations ordered a commercial block on the site Aug. 7, citing the threat posed by the worm. The site came back online Aug. 29.

Hundreds of the health system's beneficiaries who were denied access to the site telephoned the Tricare Management Activity office seeking answers, said Jessica L. Meyle, a public affairs specialist for the office.

Outside access cut

The block primarily affected 'those trying to connect to the Tricare Web site through a commercial Internet service provider, such as AOL or Earthlink,' according to a release sent out by Meyle's office. Those users with a .mil address tapping the site through a direct connection to the Pentagon network were able to access the site.

Last month, the Defense Department temporarily blocked public access to all of its Web sites within the .mil domain because of the Code Red worm.

No major damage

Maj. Barry Venable, spokesman for the Space Command in Colorado Springs, Colo., which monitors Defense networks, said the worm affected some systems and interrupted some network services. But there was no major damage, he said.

Most of the Defense's .mil sites are now accessible to the public.

One of the worm's intended targets was the White House Web site, according to network protection company eEye Digital Security of Aliso Viejo, Calif. But the White House technology team eluded the attack by changing the sites uniform resource locator.

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