Information Technology Services

AntiVirus Information Center

Campus Recent Virus Alerts:

In the past few months we have observed a rash of extremely active and damaging viruses emerge on the Internet. They have spread rapidly and caused numerous problems across the world.

It is extremely important that all computers on campus, even those not connected to the Internet, have effective, up-to-date anti-virus software installed and running. And that the software be properly maintained and updated as new viruses appear. Computer users must be proactive in this area - once a computer is infected, it is usually too late to repair the damage caused by a virus. Damaged, deleted, or corrupted files are frequent results of a virus attack.

Also, important documents and files should be regularly archived via a backup system such as ZIP disks, recordable CD-ROMS, or other media. This will ensure that any data lost due to a virus can be restored

Please check back later for more information.

Virus Prevention Tips

  1. Install Anti-Virus Software on your computer. Do not remove or turn off your software once it is installed.
  2. Scan your computer for viruses once a day.
  3. Scan all incoming emails and file transfers.
  4. Scan all removable media (CDs, ZIP disks) when inserted.
  5. Update your Anti-Virus software every day, especially Mondays before you download your email. Most can be set to automatically update their virus list.
  6. Set your email client to not automatically launch and download your email when you log in. Also, set it to not download your email when it is first run - make sure you update your Anti-Virus software first.
  7. Do not leave your computer and email client running if you are away from you computer for any length of time.
  8. Do not open any email attachments, unless you are expecting one from that sender. Never open attachments from 'friends' if you are not expecting one - most viruses spread via email addressbooks.
  9. Set up a filter on your email client to remove any emails with attachment. >> more information
  10. Do not share drives unless absolutely necessary. Make sure shared drives are regularly scanned for viruses.
  11. If you suspect your computer is infected, remove it from the network immediately by disconnecting the network cable. Call the Computing Services at 7282 for assistance.
  12. Please note that allowing a computer system to become infected puts other University systems at risk.

 

Important Links:

Network Associates
http://www.nai.com/

Symantec
http://www.symantec.com/

McAfee
http://www.mcafee.com

F-Secure Virus Info
http://www.F-Secure.com/virus-info/

CERT.org
http://www.cert.org

Phishing

Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to deceive users, and exploits the poor usability of current web security technologies.

 

 
 

There are often signs that can tip you off that a message may not be what it appears. The hints below can help you avoid "taking the bait."

  • Urgent Language - Phishing attempts often use language meant to alarm. They contain threats, urging you to take immediate action.  “You MUST click on the link below or your account will be canceled.”
  • The Greeting - If the message doesn't specifically address you by name, be wary.   Fake messages use general greetings like “Dear eBay Member” or “Attention Citibank Customer” or no greeting at all.
  • Place your mouse over the link in the e-mail message.  If the URL displayed in the window of your browser is not exactly the same as the text of the link provided in the message, run.  It’s probably a fake.   Sometimes the URLs do match and the URL is still a fake.  Before you click, look for other clues in the message like the use of a secure connection (SSL – https://).
  • Avoid the Obvious- “Official” messages that contain misspellings, poor grammar and/or punctuation errors are dead-giveaways – assume those are fake.  And, of course, if you don’t have a Wachovia credit card, for example, don’t respond to a request for information for card holders!
  • Request for Personal Information - If an e-mail message asks you to provide your user name, password, or bank account information by completing a form or clicking on a link within an e-mail message, don’t do it.   Legitimate companies will never ask you to provide that kind of information in an e-mail message.  Most legitimate messages will offer you an alternate way to respond like a phone number.
 

ITS and other legitimate agencies will never ask you to provide personal information like user name or password via an e-mail message. If you receive such request, do not respond. Instead, report it! Forward that message as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Reporting these messages will help ITS block it's spread at the university firewall level. Once you've forwarded the message to ITS you should delete it from your inbox. If you receive an e-mail message that appears to be suspicious, trust your instincts and do not respond.

While some legitimate messages may contain a link, it is best to err on the side of caution. Instead, go directly to the company's website or contact them by phone to see if you really do need to take any action. Most legitimate messages will offer you an alternate way to respond like a phone number. You can always request confirmation of any message appearing to be from ITS by contacting the ITS HelpDesk at (662) 329-7287or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In general, you can protect yourself by following these simple guidelines:

  • Use antivirus software on your computer. 
  • Keep your computer's antivirus, spyware, browser, and Windows security patches up to date.
  • Use a browser that has a phishing filter.
  • Monitor your credit card, banking and personal accounts regularly and investigate unauthorized activity.

SPAM: Just Delete It

Spam is the use of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately.

SPAM vs Phishing Scams

Spam is junk e-mail sent in bulk to unsolicited recipients. It includes chain letters, advertisements, get rich quick scams, and pornography. Almost everyone who uses e-mail receives spam.

Phishing scams, usually a more specific type of SPAM, are typically fraudulent e-mail messages appearing to come from legitimate sources like your bank, your Internet Service Provider, eBay, or PayPal, for example. These messages usually direct you to a fake web site and ask you for private information (e.g., password, credit card, or other account updates). The perpetrators then use this private information to commit identity theft.

More information on Phishing Scams

How ITS fights spam

ITS is committed to combating spam both at the university firewall level (that is, at the edge of the University network) and by providing e-mail software that has specific junk mail handling features. There are also some things you can do both to reduce the number of spam messages you get and to make it easier to deal with the spam you do get.

When you want to block an e-mail from being received or allow an e-mail to be received that is being blocked you can log into our spam filter system using your complete email address and your usual password.

Spam filter login screen

Our spam filter is at http://canit01.muw.edu/canit

 

Spyware/Malware Removal

 

Definitions

  • Adware (Advertising Software) is a software application in which advertisements are displayed while the program is running, esp. in pop-up windows or banners, and which often is installed without the user's knowledge or consent.

  • Spyware (Spying Software) is any software that covertly gathers information about a user while he/she navigates the Internet and transmits the information to an individual or company that uses it for marketing or other purposes.

  • Malware (Malicious Software) is software, such as viruses, intended to damage or disable a computer system. Malware often work in conjunction with Adware.

Spyware/Malware (& Virus) Removal Tips

  • Open up Control Panel and go to Programs and Features.  Uninstall all unnecessary applications.  For example uninstall all toolbars and any games.

  • Empty out Recycle Bin.

  • Check current AV to see if anything is quarantined.

  • Open up System Configuration and choose Startup tab.  Uncheck anything that looks suspicious.  If you are unsure about an item, Google it to see if it’s legit or not.

  • Uninstall any old AV or Malware scanning software that’s not needed.

  • Open up Task Manager.  Under Processes, if there is anything suspicious then click on End Process for it.  If you are unsure, Google the process to confirm if it’s legit or not.

PC Tools to Consider

Mac Tools to Consider