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PC Virus Hit Exeter University Network

A massive attack by a computer virus against the University of Exeter in South West England led to the closure of whole network at the campus. The University IT staff, which tried to safeguard its computer infrastructure from the virus, had to urgently shutdown all systems. The attack, which had occurred on January 18, 2010, continued to affect the University till January 20, 2010.

Commenting on the virus along with its nature, the IT support staff of the University stated that the malware was totally new and it had targeted only Exeter University and no other institution around the world. No leading antivirus vendor had seen the virus, as a result there was no fix available, the IT team added, as reported by ZDNet on January 20, 2010.

More information about the assault indicated that the University IT team were busy resolving the problem using MS09-050. The fix suggested vulnerability in Windows Server 2008 as well as Windows Vista that enabled the remote code execution.

According to the IT team's advice, anybody in the University using a Vista system should not link with the network till the University issued a notice.

Stuart Franklin, the University Spokesman, said that the virus attack on the University was deliberate, as reported by Thisisexeter on January 20, 2010.

Indeed, Franklin appears to have been deeply overwhelmed by the attack. He commented that the University would now focus on its defenses. The attack was part of a constant war, and even larger organizations compared to Exeter had been targeted and harmed previously, Franklin said.

He further said that people seeking to cause this kind of problem were continuously devising new, sinister methods of attack. Thus, it became necessary for the University's security staff to devise methods to prevent the same. He added that the University was able to detect the virus pretty early and shutdown systems to prevent its proliferation.

Franklin extended an apology regarding the unavoidable disturbance the virus caused. But he informed inmates that the matter was being treated urgently and investigations were being conducted.

Related article: PC-Virus of 2005 Threatening Japanese Bank Accountholders, Warns Symantec

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