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(402) 375-7107

Email: helpdesk@wsc.edu

 

Network Notices

Virus protection issues

Published: 4-22-2010 10:30 am

Greetings,

Virus protection for our campus technology is a very critical part of what we do and how NATS is able to reliably deliver services.  Everyone that owns a computer attached to the Internet is aware of how important it is to protect our computers from viruses and other technical maladies that are so irritatingly circulated on the Internet.

We use McAfee Enterprise level virus scan protection software.  We use their software at the server and client side of our system which has provided us with quality virus protection for many years.  Virus software is complex software as it requires constant updates to keep ahead of the viruses that are roaming the Internet.  McAfee provides us the updates in a very reliable fashion.  The data files that contain the virus information are called signature files.  We update the signature files on the hour every day of the week.  Unfortunately we updated the signature file DAT5957 with DAT 5958 yesterday morning around 9:00.  By 9:15 the updated signature file had shutdown all of your campus computers that were operational.  Ouch!  Chad Smith from NATS immediately identified the issue as a bad signature file and contacted McAfee.  And yes, he was put on hold for most of the day.  Chad was forced to identify the issue which took some time and was able to identify a work around at about the same time that McAfee identified a manual fix.  Yes, manual.  We had to literally work over every computer that was affected.  If you did not login yesterday until 9:45 AM your system was likely not affected as Chad had already removed the new signature file and replaced it with the DAT5957 file that was fine.  McAfee issued the following:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20003074-83.html

We have yet to receive a call back from McAfee regarding the issue and have yet to receive an automatic resolution to this problem.  NATS staff worked long and late hours yesterday to get as much of the campus operational with their desktop computers as possible.  By midnight we had Hahn, Gardner, Benthack, Brandenburg, Humanities, Carhart, Connell, Conn, and other miscellaneous areas operation.  This early morning we had Rice, the Power Plant, Student Center, and Fine Arts operational to the degree possible.  We are likely to be resolving this issue throughout the rest of the day.  

Nick Muir and the Help Desk student employees worked tirelessly yesterday as did Chad Smith and Amanda Rush in bringing this issue under control.  We are told that the distribution of the bad DAT file was global and caused serious interruptions around the globe.  McAfee is a major player in the virus protection arena.  

I want to thank everyone for their kind understanding and support during this downtime.  We are regretful it happened and very convinced there was nothing we could do to better manage the disruption.  

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Dennis Linster
Chief Information Officer
Wayne State College

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