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SCHOOL-IT  February 2009

SCHOOL-IT February 2009

Subject:

conficker and issue avoidance

From:

Raymond Ballou <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 25 Feb 2009 09:53:50 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (67 lines)

Dear List:

This email comes from a college friend. This happened at an education
network, but not in this state.

It seems to me that it is not uncommon for people in our business to tend to
keep their cards close to the vest, and be like a cat in a catbox to either
deny or cover up problems.

I am not posting this to critique the email or the response of the IT people
involved, just sharing so people know they are not alone out there with the
issues they might be having.

R.

___________________
As you no doubt have noticed the YYYYY network has not been functioning with
its’ usual efficiency.  About a week ago it was noticed that a large
quantity of computers were “acting funny” and the Internet access seemed
slow.  It did not take long for a cause to be identified: computer viruses.

The virus that is on our network right now is an interesting beast. I won’t
go into much technical detail but it seems to spread from computer to
computer by USB thumb drive as well as network shared folders.  This
particular virus is new (no anti-virus definitions existed until this week)
and exploits computers without the latest set of operating system patches.
An outbreak here and in some of the surrounding districts could not have
been prevented.

We’ve taken steps to halt the spread of the virus.  The ability of the virus
to spread out of district, via the Internet, has been eliminated.  We’ve
setup a scanning tool that looks for the virus the first time anyone logs
into a machine in district.  We’ve begun pushing an updated anti-virus suite
and Windows operating system patches to systems.  While these steps have
slowed the progress of the virus there is still a lot of work to be done.

So things you really want to know are:

1)      Are the computers going to remain slow on Thursday and Friday? Yes.
The YYYYY staff will be working next week to eliminate the virus entirely.
Until Monday the 23rd, the computers will be slow especially during the
booting and login process. Expect delays of up to 30 minutes in some cases.
 Please plan accordingly.
2)      Is the Internet going to remain slow on Thursday and Friday? Yes.
The YYYYY staff will be working next week to eliminate the virus entirely.
Until Monday the 23rd, the Internet will be slow. The network share traffic
the virus creates is using a lot of our network capacity. Please plan
accordingly.
3)      Are “My Documents” really gone? No. In most cases, the virus has
been interfering with access to the servers where your documents are stored.
Full access should return as the virus leaves.
4)      Can I use my USB thumb drive? Yes. However, be aware that you may be
spreading the virus to your home machine or you could be bringing the virus
back to campus as well.
5)      What can I do to help?  A few things would be of tremendous help:

 *
Please leave your classroom computers on over February break. (Mr. ZZZZZ has
asked for this as well. You should hear this from your administrator as well.)
 *
Update your home computer’s operating system and anti-virus.
 *
Continue your patience and understanding with the YYYYY staff and IT team
members.
 I will send out more email as things progress. Thanks for your attention
and have a great day!

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