The newest and most disruptive strand of the Bagle computer
virus hit the University e-mail system yesterday — leading to
massive e-mail clog ups and preventing access for many
students.

The virus, designed to appear as if it comes from University
administration or staff, has a subject line attempting to warn the
user of a new virus, and asks the user to open an attachment. The
e-mail can be safely deleted but upon opening the attachment, the
user receives virus.

Bruce Burrell, computer and anti-virus team leader for Virus
Busters, said the virus spreads rapidly once opened and allows
hackers to have instant access to information on the computer.
Virus Busters is a division of the University’s Information
Technology Central Services.

Burrell added that this new virus is unique because of its vast
success in spreading throughout the University.

“They’re doing it in a more organized fashion
— there’s a good chance that it’s more than just
some kid sending out these viruses … (Normally) out of 100
viruses there is one successful a month. But we’ve seen
bunches of these released intentionally. There seems to be more of
a concerted effort to make (the viruses) succeed,” Burrell
said.

He added that the person or group responsible has been making a
special effort to spread the virus.

The virus infects only Microsoft Windows, but it disrupts
Macintosh users as well. It is too soon to tell how many students
the virus has affected, or how much longer it will take to rid
computers of the virus.

LSA senior Karl Sturk said he is annoyed by the virus because it
has slowed his e-mail use.

“It is taking forever for my stuff to open up. There are
some weird messages that seem phony from management at the
University. It seemed phony, so I just deleted it,” Sturk
said.

But LSA senior Rocky Pasha said he only uses Macs and has not
experienced any problems from the virus.

“I just delete viruses. If at this point you can’t
recognize a computer virus you freaking deserve it. You can only
get it if you open it,” he added.

Burrell said that under no circumstances should students open up
unsolicited attachments, even if the person who sent is
familiar.

Students, staff and faculty should protect their computers by
downloading the software off the University website
“http://www.itd.umich.edu/virusbusters”>www.itd.umich.edu/virusbusters.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.