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Friday, August 29, 2003

SU Helps Protect Students From Computer Viruses

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University is giving students one less excuse for handing in late papers this fall.

After a bad case of the MS Blaster and Nachie computer viruses put most of the campus’ computer system on sick leave for a few days last month, SU officials took action to prevent similar infections of returning students’ computers.

The day before residence halls opened, housing officials were posting large hand-written banners in resident assistants’ offices warning, “Do Not Plug Into the Internet Port Until You’ve Spoken to Your RA.” (Students get their room keys at the RA Office.) Taped over some 1,700 Internet portals in the rooms are bright gold warnings telling students to get a CD from the RAs to patch their computers. The patches contain snippets of computer code that prevents infection from the viruses.

 “Basically, what we’re worried about is students coming to campus with computers that have not been patched,” said SU’s chief information officer, Jerome Waldron.

Waldron hopes the labels will not only save a few returning computers, but help keep a perennial academic tradition—the back-to-school shopping spree—from compounding the virus problem: “If students show up with a new computer, it probably doesn’t have the patch,” he said.

While SU’s faculty and staff felt the virus’ wrath this summer, officials got the word out in time to most tech-savvy students, including those who returned to the area early at the institution’s off-campus University Park apartments.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.


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