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Virus Attack Collapsed Nearly All Computers at NIC

A nasty computer virus infiltrated the systems at North Idaho College causing damage to nearly 90% of the 1,200 PCs installed at the campus.

The infection started on February 2, 2009, according to reports, when faculty and staff members started experiencing problems and saw error messages while using certain applications. Subsequently, one after another computer started losing functionality while experts in the IT department worked very hard to detect the problem.

Karen Hubbard, a staff member in the NIC's Human Resources Department, said that by noon of February 5, 2009, the computers in her department collapsed, as reported by BonnerCountyDailyBee on February 10, 2009.

Meanwhile, the security officials said that the particular virus was detected over the end of the week as two separate samples of the malware namely virut.bh and virut.bm didn't seem to have attacked NIC specifically.

Furthermore, experts disclosed that they suspected one sample was originated in Russia, adding that no one knew the way in which it reached the NIC systems.

Stacy Hudson, Spokeswoman for NIC, said that the virus was pretty serious, as reported by BonnerCountyDailyBee on February 10, 2009. Hudson further said that the virus was extremely intelligent and could spread extensively. Although it wouldn't delete files, it was a vicious malware utilizing files to multiply and propagate itself.

However, Hudson stated that the virus, which primarily attacked staff and faculty login systems, largely left students unaffected.

Meanwhile, the IT staff said, even the most new antivirus solutions could not detect the malware. Consequently, the college asked all staff members and faculty to shut down their PCs until safety of the systems was confirmed.

And while the infection spreads, the college is in a crisis, with daily administrative meetings being held and routine updates added to the college website, www.mic.edu and pasted on campus walls. The college has also established "safe" computers in its library for staff to use and work. In addition, red and green labels have been marked on all campus computers to indicate the unsafe and safe systems respectively suggesting that computers with red labels shouldn't be opened.

Related article: Virus Infects Through USB Drives

ยป SPAMfighter News - 24-02-2009

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