Officials in Pittsburg State University’s Office of Information Systems have warned students and faculty that a new computer virus has been identified in a few locations on campus.
In an e-mail Thursday afternoon, the office asked students and staff to report any symptoms of infections in computers or thumb drives and they advised against the use of thumb drives anywhere on campus until they have been checked by university technicians.
At this time, the infection appears to be confined to very limited locations in the Kansas Technology Center. In order to prevent the spread of the virus, officials temporarily closed computer lab operations in three rooms of the KTC, although most of the labs in the building remain in operation.
The e-mail to campus advised students and staff to look for certain signs of the infection. Those include additional files on a user’s flash drive with names like sexy (sexy.exe) passwords (passwords.exe) secret (secret.exe) and perhaps others. Files on the thumb drive will be hidden and will have been replaced with programs (files that end in .exe).
University officials said they reported the virus to Symantec, the company that made the antivirus software used on campus, and expected the company to publish updated detection files within hours. Microsoft Security Essentials does detect this virus now, however, so computers with Security Essentials installed and enabled should be safe.
The Office of Information Services will issue another announcement when an update for Symantec Antivirus becomes available.
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