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UW’s DoIT combats Conficker, Yet Alerts Students

Security professionals at the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) of the University of Wisconsin (UW) are encouraging students, faculty and other staff to be vigilant to keep the computer networks of the University secured from the Conficker virus. This is even after a week passed on April 8, 2009 since everyone expected the notorious worm to strike.

DoIT, which scanned the networks at the residence hall and academic departments, concluded that the virus made little impact. This means, while the IT officials thought the virus would cause drastic harm to the University's network on April 1, 2009, it actually didn't happen as the University acted fast.

Besides, deploying the Windows patches on the campus' computers and encouraging students to run DoIT's free antivirus systems helped to make the virus cause minimal effect.

Meanwhile, DoIT told everyone using the campus computers that in case its OCIS (Office of Campus Information Security) detects the virus on any of the PCs, that computer would be shutdown and disconnected from the network. The computer remains disconnected as long as the virus is eliminated so that there is no further spread of it and the services will continue uninterrupted. Subsequently, when the infected system is cleaned, it would be rejoined to the network.

In the end week of March 2009, Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos, the IT security company, had said that both private and public sectors should not find it difficult to safeguard themselves from the worm. Organizations are required to create awareness about the problem among their employees, as reported by COMPUTERWORLDUK.

In fact, with DoIT adopting the strategy, it has effectively prevented the infection from spreading but computers are still at risk, says Computer Science Professor Paul Barford at UW, as reported by THE BADGEHEARLD on April 9, 2009.

Prof. Barford further said that it was important for students to know that the virus was highly malicious so those who hadn't made their systems up-to-date could be vulnerable.

Meanwhile, the DoIT website has provided a page, which students could refer to, for checking if their computer has an infection - http://www.doit.wisc.edu/.

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