Recent Virus Activity
& OIT Prevention Tips
Memo to AU Faculty & Staff
The following message was sent to all AU Faculty and Staff on March 4, 2010:
Recently, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) has detected a surge of computer viruses which target the stealing of personal information (such as bank account and credit card information) within our community. I am writing you today to provide some background and steps that you can use to help protect your computer.
The computer virus spreads when a user visits a website with malicious advertisements and the computer does not have up to date patches installed for certain common pieces of software, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, Flash, and Java. The virus is called Torpig and you can read more about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torpig. It is important to note that these are mainstream websites that are delivering these malicious advertisements and one can be infected without even clicking on anything.
On Monday and Tuesday, OIT discovered and blocked approximately 70 computers on campus that we suspected had the virus. We understand that it is a disruptive experience to have to clean an infected computer, and we wanted to pass on some simple steps that all can and should follow to help keep your computer safe and prevent infection.
What does this mean to me?
OIT is constantly looking for ways to improve the protection we provide for our Customers. OIT will be aggressively working to patch AU owned computers with our patch management suite (LanDesk) in the coming weeks.
If you use a personally owned computer on the AU network or at home, OIT strongly encourages you to:
- Keep all your programs patched, especially Adobe products and Java. Secunia Personal Software Inspector, a free utility for personally owned computers, that easy to use. You can get more info on the utility here: http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/
- If you use Firefox install an ad blocking plugin, like AdblockPlus, for users of Google Chrome browser, there is an extension called AdThwart that also blocks ads. You can get more information on Adblock Plus for Firefox here: http://adblockplus.org/en/. Information on AdThwart for Google Chrome can be found here: https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/cfhdojbkjhnklbpkdaibdccddilifddb
Best regards -Ed Martin, CISM, CGEIT
Senior Director, Technology Operations
Office of Information Technology
4620 Wisconsin Ave NW Suite 401
Washington, DC 20016