Love bug virus strikes McMaster e-mail system

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The e-mail system at McMaster was shut down for about 90 minutes yesterday afternoon so that staff in Computing & Information Services could contain the love bug virus that hit e-mail systems around the globe. CIS staff quickly wrote computer script to scan all the files on mcmail and look for the virus. Robin Griffin, manager of networking services, CIS, says 10,000 files containing the virus were found and deleted.


The e-mail system at McMaster was shut down for about 90 minutes yesterday afternoon so that staff in Computing & Information Services could contain the love bug virus that hit e-mail systems around the globe.

CIS staff quickly wrote computer script to scan all the files on mcmail and look for the virus. Robin Griffin, manager of networking services, CIS, says 10,000 files containing the virus were found and deleted.

Griffin cautions, though, that CIS hasn't made the virus go away by deleting the mcmail files. Once a computer has been infected, it's easy to infect others. And if you have a computer that has been infected, getting rid of the bug won't be easy. Call the CIS help line, ext. 24357, for assistance.

Griffin says computer users in health sciences were more affected by the bug because they use a different e-mail system. “It's more difficult to get rid of from big databases.”

According to Griffin, e-mail sites were affected more or less depending on who uses Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express, two e-mail programs. Netscape Communicator is commonly used by mcmail subscribers.

Once the corrupted file is opened, the virus replicates itself and sends a copy of the bad file to everyone in the e-mail address book on the infected computer. The virus gets rid of certain kinds of files such as jpgs (photographs) and MP3s (music files).

To avoid being bitten by the bug, delete any e-mail message with the subject “I LOVE YOU” and do not open the attachment “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.txt.vbs.”

It is believed the virus originated in the Phillipines.

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The following is from an e-mail message sent to the general community from CIS:

I lOVE YOU- VIRUS

If you are NOT linked to a CIS Desktop Server:

The Updated Command Anti-Virus definition files for the I LOVE YOU virus are now available from the Web. You must already have the Command Anti-Virus Software installed locally on your PC. The full version of Command Anti-Virus is available from the Software Depot from URL:

http://www.mcmaster.ca/cis/help/rswelcom.htm

The definition files update is are available from URL:

http://www.mcmaster.ca/cis/help/virus2/alerts.htm

Click on 'Click here for Definition File installation Procedure' to
install the Command Anti-Virus definition files.

Run Command Anti-Virus and disinfect the virus.
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If you ARE linked to a CIS Desktop Server:

The Command AntiVirus files on each desktop server have been updated. This version allows one to click on “Update Deffiles” and download the latest virus definition files from a local McMaster site. This version currently gets installed with the latest definition files.

To make use of the “Update Deffile” feature, and to make sure the latest signature files are downloaded, select Start—>Program–>McLink Product Installation–>Command Antivirus. You will be prompted to uninstall CSAV (if it's already been installed on the PC)… allow the uninstall to proceed. When CSAV has been removed, repeat the process (Start–>Program–>McLink Product Installation—> Command AntiVirus) in order to install the updated Command AntiVirus on your PC. Periodically check to make the virus signature/definition files are up-to-date, by clicking on the Update Deffiles button.

If you need any more help or information, please the the CIS MAIN OFFICE at ext. 24357 or email: helpline@mcmaster.ca