The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is an agency in the Department of Commerce that promotes economic development in regions of the US suffering slow growth, low employment, and other economic problems. In December 2011, the Department of Homeland Security notified both the EDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that there was a possible malware infection within the two agencies’ systems.

The NOAA isolated and cleaned up the problem within a few weeks. The EDA, however, responded by cutting its systems off from the rest of the world—disabling its enterprise e-mail system and leaving its regional offices no way of accessing centrally held databases.

It then recruited an outside security contractor to look for malware and provide assurances that not only were EDA’s systems clean, but also that they were impregnable against malware. The contractor, after some initial false positives, declared the systems largely clean but was unable to provide this guarantee. Malware was found on six systems, but it was easily repaired by reimaging the affected machines.

EDA’s CIO, fearing that the agency was under attack from a nation-state, insisted instead on a policy of physical destruction. The EDA destroyed not only (uninfected) desktop computers but also printers, cameras, keyboards, and even mice. The destruction only stopped—sparing $3 million of equipment—because the agency had run out of money to pay for destroying the hardware.

The total cost to the taxpayer of this incident was $2.7 million.

  1. Judge Hooker says:

    “they only stopped because they ran out of money to destroy the equipment”. Whu? They could have *started* with that and realized it was the wrong approach. Apparently taking the axe to the Feds is the only approach to curbing government. On the other hand, this approach is BRILLIANT if you’re trying to upgrade old equipment. Watch, they’ll get it too. Gah!

    • msbpodcast says:

      And why not?

      They’ll give a boost to the local economy and get new tech.

      (If I still had to suck on a “glass teat” to browse the web, I’d want to take a hammer to it too. :-))

  2. UncDon says:

    How far into the 21st-century are we?

    These people’s idea of science fiction must be reruns of Lost in Space on TVLand.

    • Tim says:

      I was thinking more ‘Space -1999’ where the moon and man’s being on it does not, in any way, have to respect ‘delta-v’ when tooling about the universe.

      • Tim says:

        Of course, I meant to transcribe ‘whilst’ in place of when. all yas haters gonna make me hit the hash-pipe.

    • UncDon says:

      Wuups, sorry. They don’t (yet) have Lost in Space.

      They have Gilligan’s Island, though.

      • Tim says:

        Yea, that series represented the seven deadly sins with Gilligan {bless his dumb-fuckedness} playing the part of the un-assuming Satan.

    • Grandpa says:

      Not tech savvy but I bet they speak Spanish.

  3. bobbo, the spirit breaking Grammar Jew hiding under the floor boards says:

    Part of the Problem is calling this “the decision of the EDA” or even the “EDA’s-CIO.”

    Better: name and shame the idiot….. and his boss for not firing him.

    ………..I just assume he wasn’t fired?

    Anybody know his name?

    • kiwini says:

      Probably resulted in a promotion or three, but not any dismissals.

      And in the interest of being equitable to the so-called fairer sex, I betcha at least one of the stoopid troops was a femme. 🙂

      • bobbo, the spirit breaking Grammar Jew hiding under the floor boards says:

        Being completely ignorant of all the facts, only my base line prejudices allow me to opine that everyone involved is a Male. This is after all the IT department…. not the steno pool. I mean, we are not so evolved yet that all our stereotypes have fallen.

        ……..jiggity, jiggity, jiggity…….

        • MikeN says:

          It’s a government IT department, so I’d say it has close to 50% women.

          • Misogynist Moe says:

            Maybe MORE!

            Go to nearly any office of any government “services” branch (take your pick — Fed, State, Local, whatever) and the women will always out number the men. Government jobs that have you sitting on your ass seem to be the equivalent of remedial high school when it comes to jobs. (The only hard part to any of these jobs is simply showing up on time.)

            So naturally, anyone who works for the government and isn’t elected is either good at pumping out kids that gets them qualified to work at these jobs or is just another moronic sibling of someone much higher up. Either way, it’s a perfect match for stupid IT morons who barely got through high school with a GED and then went on to Joe’s Jerkoff College (take your pick next time you watch a little afternoon TV).

            … And if you feel like you might want to complain to someone about their apparent sexist hiring practices when females get the advantage, good luck!

      • Tim says:

        Marissa Mayer has that special touch; Gently stroking people into smashing keyboards and drowning mice whether there’s any indication of worms in the brain, or not.

        • bobbo, the spirit breaking Grammar Jew hiding under the floor boards says:

          I don’t think the CEO of a company is in the IT department.

          Is Yahoo still relevant to anything? I keep confusing them with America OnLine–or any other bait and switch operation.

          • Tim says:

            She is that corporate excess skin around a slit that I, euphemistcally, like to call ‘woman’ as labia or camel-toes is so gosh.

          • bobbo, we think with words, but constantly seek the lowest expressions for anything other than ourselves says:

            …. and when you aren’t thinking euphemistically?

          • bobbo, we think with words, but constantly seek the lowest expressions for anything other than ourselves says:

            —–DO OVER—-

            ….. and when you aren’t thinking like a dick?

            Thats more better.

          • Tim,munching on something black, feathery, and not at all fresh of the road says:

            Huu? My retraction and apology was memory-holed for some reason.

          • Tim, munching on something black, feathery, and not at all fresh off the road says:

            {it needed a complete re-write, anyways}

            Yes. My comment was uncalled-for. Perhaps I’ll shoot her an email to apologize.Oh yea, I can’t.

            Mayer really is quite pretty and I’m filled with regret at this hypothetical:

            I’m 200 miles east of Reno {maybe it was Omaha, it matters not} on a long and lonesome highway when, like a pop-up on a porn page, the most radiant creature I’d never seen imposes itself upon my fast-faltering situational awarness. She’s poised there with her back against a Mazerati, smiling and pointing at a flat tire. She exudes self-confidence as I struggle to regain control of the truck which had just suffered a sudden spurt of over-zelous deceleration.

            {insert unnecessarily-lascivious noir imagery here}

            With small talk talked, tire fixed, and pants re-zipped we fall in love and get married. But I’ve been feeling un-characteristically bad witholding the dark secret that I had, in my youth, made such mean comments of her and that they are, of course, still out there on one of her many cloud servers.

            I can stand it no longer; The stifling guilt of it all is eating away at the muscles of my heart. I tell her “I have something I must confess, dear.”

            “I knew it; You’re gay!” She exclaims, bawling like a banshee as she storms out of the room with my half of her billion-dollar company in tow.


            { the rest was basically a rant on the relevance of Yahoo! to me now (dead) and what I thought of the silly drive to go back to the old *portal* model of AoL.

            But I sometimes forget that this is a ‘tech’ blog and there may be some with a branch of their portfolio un-naturally laden down with the cherry-fruits of that company.

            Long and short of it is: I would not kick her out of bed unless she wanted to fuck up a formerly-working interface on the floor.

          • Tim hmmm. tastes like chicken. needs salt says:

            It’s just that I’m so cripplingly shy but have this secret adolescent man-crush on her. That is what makes me so vicious — I guess I meant the opposite of what I said. There. I said it. Can I have my email back now?

          • Tim says:

            Calling Marissa Mayer ‘pretty’ is as much a faux pax as calling Otto ‘stupid’


            now here is how to apologize:


  4. Surrealistic turtle says:

    It takes seven. One to change the bulb and six to throw brightly colored bobbo-touched mice and keybords into the tube with the giraffe.

  5. Tim says:

    They are a subsidiary of “da department ob de commerse” and, as such, are challenged that way… don’t you ever ask them why, but just know that they love you.

    • Tim says:

      By the by, if you look at them and sigh, then that is just mental masturbation.

  6. MikeN says:

    According to Paul Krugman, this is a boost for the economy.

    • deowll says:

      According to Krugman all disasters are a boost to the economy. I sometimes wonder if he would think a thermonuclear exchange was a boost to the economy.

      • Tim says:

        “Today will be partly cloudy with scattered flashes of light…” buy! buy! buy!

    • Injin Joe says:

      I do wish they would just give the taxpayers the money instead of always trying to use it to rub the economy the right way. I can’t never tell if these so called economic “experts” are trying to rub some sort of magic lamp or just jerk off.

      Better still might be to stop taking taxpayer money in the first place! But that might be just a bit too “tea party” for the majority of morons to wrap their brains around. (TEA – TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY!)

      Remember: A fool and his money are soon parted. It also pretty much describes the average voter when you realize that you also get what you pay for!!!

  7. MikeN says:

    Given how Israel created StuxNet, I don’t know that this was a bad idea.

    • Tim says:

      Israelis make all the good stuff; It is too bad they don’t have any natural rescourses of their own.

      • Injin Joe says:

        “Natural rescourses “? Like what? Salt? Sand? Sun? Or possibly hoards of pissed off Camel Jockey’s looking to slit your throat?!

        • Tim says:

          Well, they have cornered the market on selenium sulfide to cure leprosy –just ask Naman {opps, too soon?}.

    • LibertyLover says:

      I was sorta thinking the same thing.

  8. deowll says:

    I suppose these people are evidence our former President was right when he said the scariest phrase in the English language is, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

    • MCP says:

      I’m here to help you.

      buffer out the port, bus on the left, one cycle each.

    • Injin Joe says:

      Ya ya. We’ve all heard those “great lies” before. I’m from the government and I’m here to help. Black is beautiful (as if anyone can actually SEE “black” – not the racist connotation). Drive defensively. Etc.

      What else is new?

  9. ECA says:

    LETS SEE..
    The WORSE, this could be, is a Full re-install of the Programming and data on a NEW Hard drive..

    Something missing from this is the POST of the age of the hardware/software.

    I would REALLY like to know WHO suggested this destruction, EVEn as an after thought..

  10. Uncle Patso says:

    It can’t be easy to gather that many tech-incompetents in one place in this day and age — it takes determination!

    They must have insisted on hiring people with the kind of degrees where, at the end of a test the proctor says “Everyone lay down your shovels.”

    • Injin Joe says:

      No no! They simply unloaded a few Baptist churches like the Westboro Baptist church to staff their IT department.

      I bet it felt good for those backwards bastards to exorcise a daemon or two out of those evil computing boxes when they broke them up and all. Sort of reminiscent of the good old days – the dark ages!

  11. MikeN says:

    At l;east Barack Obama didn’t endorse this policy like cash for clunkers which is much worse. There they demanded dealers pour a liquid solution to disable working engines on all cars that were handed in. Destroying working car parts is not good for the environment.

    • Tim says:

      Yea. Don’t they consider the cost to the environment of mining, refining, manufacturing, and transporting new cars 12,000 miles? I guess most of that is on third-world environments though. This statement is becoming less true now with some of the tech but for the past 20 years of emmissions testing what was essentially forced upon people was to finance a new car everytime the warranty ran out and they could not afford to stay in *compliance*.

  12. MikeN says:

    $1,061,000 to replace $170,500 in destroyed equipment, and it was loaned equipment at that from the Census Bureau, which presumably will get new stuff every decade.

  13. Tim says:

    You have to preface the praise with “I don’t agree with everything you say, but…” Otherwise, It just looks like spam. I can’t figure out for what outcome but feel it’s surely nephariously innocent.


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