Archive for Tuesday, June 15, 1999

LOCAL USERS HOPE TO STAY OFF THE HOOK

June 15, 1999

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A destructive computer virus's latest incarnation has yet to dig its way into Kansas University's computers.

But that doesn't mean locals are immune.

The virus, known as Worm.Explore.Zip, is still out there, replicating into file-erasing e-mails that manage to slither into computers hooked onto e-mail or connected by network servers.

At KU, where hundreds of computers offer potential breeding grounds, officials are warning computer users to be on the lookout for the dangerous critters that first surfaced about a week ago in Israel.

The virus already has infested computer systems of several big corporations -- including AT&T, Boeing, General Electric and Microsoft -- and KU officials don't want the university to join the list.

"Amazingly, I have not had any reports at all," said Mickey Waxman, statistical consultant for academic computing services, which oversees KU's network computers and several computer labs. "I have talked to people, and nobody seems to have seen it.

"It hasn't been a big deal around here yet."

Officials at city hall downloaded virus-protection software Monday to ward off any invading viruses.

Douglas County government's 250 or so network computers also have been spared the brunt of the virus's bite.

"It hasn't shown up here, and we don't want it to," said Jim Lawson, the county's information services coordinator.

-- Mark Fagan's phone message number is 832-7188. His e-mail address is mfagan@ljworld.com.

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