Computer virus appears on campus
R. Buchholz, Chronicle staff
computer virus that originated in China was discovered in more than
30 campus computers two week ago, according to Office of Information
Technology (OIT) network operations manager Scott Conti. Conti and
Dan Blanchard, director of Networking Systems and Services at OIT,
are advising staff to install or update the McAffee virus protection
software, available on OIT's Web site (www.oit.umass.edu/download)
or from its Help Desk.
[itself] does not appear to be destructive to the computer,"
Conti said. "It's looking for other vulnerable computers, infecting
them, and sending that information back, presumably to the person
who launched it. That person now knows that that computer is vulnerable
and can tell other people that it's vulnerable."
What the virus
tells the recipients is that they can access any information on
the infected computer, Conti said.
[a thief] knowing your house is unlocked," he said.
is spreading around campus," Blanchard said. "Our suspicion
right now is that it's been spreading through machines that have
open shares or open file systems. These machines have a portion
of their local file space that is open to the world for reading
and writing. So the virus was installed on one of these and has
been spreading around."
is currently aware of over 25,000 affected computers around the
country," Conti said. "We've also been getting reports
of a subseven trojan. A trojan horse program allows somebody to
remotely control over any operation on the computer, including being
able to erase the hard drive. And that program is also detectable
by an anti-virus program."
a fairly common occurrence," Blanchard said, "and that's
scary stuff. We spend an inordinate amount of our time keeping ahead
should be concerned with computer security," Conti said. "Every
Windows 95/98 computer on campus should have an updated virus scanner
installed and running."