Open Source Software and Linux

Apr 14 2009   1:06AM GMT

University of Utah gets hit by conficker worm

John Little Profile: Xjlittle

Over 700 computers were hit by the most recent release of the conficker worm at the University of Utah. Computers included those at the University’s three hospitals.

The worm was first detected on Thursday on some of the school’s computers. By Friday it had hit the school’s computers at the three hospitals, medical school, and colleges of nursing, pharmacy and health.

University officials don’t believe that any patient data or medical records were compromised. According to officials those are protected “in a deeper way”. That begs the question of what exactly does that mean? Is that the only data that is virus protected? Is it on Linux or Unix?

The IT staff at the school shut off internet access for up to 6 hours Friday in an effort to isolate the worm. The staff worked over the weekend to cleanup the damage caused by the outbreak. Kind of gives real meaning to the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” doesn’t it?

Mindy Tueller of the university’s office of information technology said all faculty and students should take steps to make sure they are protected. The virus does not infect Macs.

Or Linux, Unix or any other OS besides Windows :-)

“It can do a lot of bad things,” Tueller said. “Every university member should be concerned about this if they’re using Windows-based devices.”

Interesting. Ms. Tueller and school officials apparently recognize that the problem is the OS but apparently don’t want to do anything about it. How much does that attitude cost the school?

-j

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