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‘Worm’ sparks widespread policy changes

Modified User Agreement may grant access to personal PCs in future


Published (Volume 76, No. 3)


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The screenshot above is of the Exec. Editor’s personal inbox. Over the past week, massive amounts of fake e-mails bogged down the UTM campus network.

After a flood of feedback from concerned students, Computer Services issued a new memo to dorm residents on Aug. 29, informing them of changes in plans for dealing with the Blaster and Welchia/Nachi worms that have plagued campus networks.

All students, including those running operating systems other than those affected by the Blaster and Welchia worms, are strongly urged to use anti-virus software.  A CD containing McAfee Corporate Edition may be obtained from Computer Services or downloaded from http://www.utm.edu/antivirus, should students wish to remedy the problem themselves.

For students who would rather entrust the process of de-worming their computers and installing the operating-system patch to professionals, Computer Services set up stations in the dorm lobbies on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday where students could bring their CPUs for repair. 

Once their computers are cleaned, students are asked to call the Computer Services Help Desk at x7900 to have network access restored.

Students whose computers were serviced last Thursday say this is preferable to how Computer Services had handled the situation previously. 

Wes Penn, a junior Marketing major from Memphis, was alone in his room last Thursday morning when four Computer Services technicians and the assistant hall director of Ellington knocked on his door.  He allowed them to enter and to install anti-virus software on his computer.  When they were finished, they began to work on his roommate’s computer, deactivating a current version of Norton Anti-Virus and installing McAfee Corporate Edition.

“It was really intimidating,” Penn said.

While Computer Services consented to student suggestion this time, Mike Abney, assistant director of Computer Services, has informed The Pacer that as-yet-unspecified changes will be made to the Network User Agreement in the near future which may allow technicians to enter rooms and access computers without permission.

Shannon Burgin, director of Computer Services, broadcasted an e-mail to students Thursday morning informing the campus that the special hotline for solving virus issues would be discontinued that evening.

Students still experiencing problems should contact the Computer Services Help Desk at 7900.