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Conficker Virus Strikes University of Utah

According to the officials at the University of Utah, the Conficker virus infected numerous computers during the 2nd week of April 2009. The infection primarily spread to three hospitals, and the nursing, medical and pharmacy colleges of the University.

The spokesman for the University's health sciences school states that it is believed the virus made its infiltration into the University's computer network via an infected USB device.

According to the reports, it was on April 9, 2009 when the University employees first came to know about the infection. Subsequently, on April 10, 2009, the virus gained a foothold on the PCs at the medical school, hospitals as well as colleges of pharmacy, health and nursing.

Moreover, the first time security experts became alert of the worm when they observed an enormous increase in the incoming and outgoing online traffic from the colleges and clinics. Thereafter, the IT staff blocked access to the Internet to quarantine the annoying virus.

Chris Nelson, Health Science Spokesman, said that there had been no compromise of medical records and patient data so far, as reported by AHN on April 12, 2009. Nelson further said that those using Macs, however, were not at risk.

In addition, Nelson also stated that the worm was possibly transmitting password and other login details, banking information and payment card numbers, as reported by Associated Press on April 12, 2009.

Besides, Mindy Tueller, Communications Manager, University IT Office, said that all students and faculty members needed to take precautionary actions so that they were safe, as reported by Associated Press on April 12, 2009. Tueller cautioned that the virus could do many bad things; therefore, all university members needed to be concerned regarding it if they are using Windows-based computers.

Meanwhile, the security specialists said that while the worm making a strike was not really surprising, it necessitated that all institutions, of any size, thought hard regarding their hardware, software and IT policies. They further said that the virus' creators seemed to have developed a gigantic moneymaker instead of a mass-destruction cyber weapon, as was apprehended in many quarters.

Related article: Conviction of First Felony Spam in Virginia Upheld

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