Sasser worm hits campus

By Gus Bode

travels through Internet without user interaction

Factoid:Users who believe they may be infected should go to www.microsoft.com/technet/sercurity/bulletin/MS04-011.

Another computer worm began wreaking havoc on campus computers Sunday as the Sasser worm entered the system early that afternoon.

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The Sasser worm, which began infiltrating home and corporate computers nationwide Friday, does not require user interaction to spread. It travels via the Internet.

The virus quickly replicates through computers connected to the Internet and only affects Windows 2000, Windows XP operating systems and Windows 2000 and 2003 servers. Indirectly affected systems may be Windows 95, 98 and ME.

According to CNN.com, computers without firewall protection can be affected within 10 minutes of being signed onto the Internet. Computers protected by firewalls may still be affected.

When a computer is restarted, the worm automatically launches a file that causes it to continually reboot as soon as the user tries to go online.

According to reports from the Boston Globe, the worm is expected to worsen as the work week continues.

An e-mail with an infected viral attachment claiming to repair the worm has also been circulating. The worm is called Netsky-AC, which “preys on paranoia about the Sasser worm,” according to reports from CNN.

Maria Paredes, a member of the Local Area Network team from Computer Learning Center 1 in Faner Hall, said the Sasser worm hit campus sometime Sunday afternoon and took her computer lab down about 5 or 6 p.m.

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Paredes said network engineers worked all night and her lab was back to normal by 8 a.m. Monday.

Engineers were able to fix the system by installing new images onto the system. By using imaging, every time a user logs out of the system, such as in the labs, it provides a clean copy of the system and software, acting as if the computer is brand new every day.

Paredes expects her lab to operate normally for the rest of week.

“If anything can go wrong, it would probably happen around finals,” Paredes said.

Users who have questions should contact the Information Technology customer help desk at 453-5155.

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