In an effort to stop the spread of two viruses that have been
affecting computers worldwide, Academic Computing and Networking
Services is advising caution when opening any e-mails with
Last week’s Bagel virus and the less than a week old MyDoom
virus are two of the fastest spreading computer viruses in history,
said Diane Noren, an information technology professional for the
Weber Building computer lab.
“It’s a worm virus that was mass mailed all over the place,”
said Kevin Nolan, an IT specialist for the ACNS.
Nolan said it is characteristic of both viruses to have
attachments in the e-mail that if opened allow a “backdoor” to be
opened in the computer.
“(The backdoor) allows others to talk to your computer with out
you knowing,” Nolan said.
If the backdoor is not closed, Nolan said the creators of the
viruses are allowed access to everything in the computer, including
files, electronic ID’s and passwords, and credit card numbers.
“They open up ports so hackers can read your files and delete
your hard drives,” said Jake Gross, a computer training and support
services consultant for the Weber computer lab.
Gross said the viruses only affect computers that use Windows
and that the Bagel virus has a written-in time limit that stopped
spread of virus on Wednesday.
“I don’t know why anybody would do this. The only reason to
create a virus is to screw with other people’s computers,” said
Chris Latham, an accounting and finance junior.
Latham said he believes he got the virus early Wednesday and
since then his computer system has randomly shut down after running
“Be very careful about opening an e-mail message with an
attachment, even from people you know,” Nolan said.
Nolan said e-mail users are more likely to open virus-infected
messages because the viruses mimic e-mail names and addresses that
make users believe that they are receiving a legitimate message
from somebody they know.
Characteristics can be seen in the subject lines of the e-mails.
The Bagel virus usually has the word “Hi” and the MyDoom virus has
the word “test” in the subject line.
According www.theage.com, MyDoom was dominating about 10 percent
of the world’s Internet traffic on Wednesday.
While news of the virus did not come until Monday, Noren said
anti-virus software and updates could not be created fast enough to
stop the exponential growth the virus has had all week.
“We here at CSU have been trying to attack it and block it. All
students and faculty must have virus protection,” Noren said.
Noren advised anybody who believes his/her computer may have
been infected to come to the Weber computer lab, where anti-virus
software and help can be provided.
“It’s each individual responsibility to keep their machines
clean,” Noren said.
The huge spread of the viruses has caused other problems at
Gross said many individuals are receiving large numbers of
infected e-mails that are not only clogging their inboxes but in
some cases are also putting the students over their quota. This
stops the arrival of any e-mail.
“It seems to be just a pain right now,” Noren said.
Nolan said the focus is not about finding out who is responsible
but reacting to the spread.
Once the virus is under control, Nolan said an investigation
will probably find out who created the viruses but punishment could
depend on what country they originated from.
Noren said MyDoom and Bagel could be representative of the new
era of viruses because it is unusual for there to be multiple
viruses that spread as fast as these did.
“Technology has just changed and (virus protection) is now a
daily part of my job,” Noren said.