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Office of Information Technology

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:

Dear Customer,

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 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:

Thank you very much for your time and attention. Please contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550, e-mail, or instant message AskAmericanUHelp, if you have any questions.

Best regards -

Ed Martin, CISM, CGEIT
Deputy CIO
Senior Director, Technology Operations
Office of Information Technology
American University
4620 Wisconsin Ave NW Suite 401
Washington, DC 20016