computer use can help prevent virus, worm attacks
by Oct. 27
Beginning Monday, Oct. 27, unencrypted logins to CIRT
email servers will be denied. This is one part of increased
security methods that CIRT is implementing to keep UNM
online information and services confidential and reliable.
A CIRT Web page (www.unm.edu/cirt/encryption)
has more information about specific email software and
how to enable your software for a secure log in.
A scheduled power outage is set at CIRT for Saturday,
Oct. 25, beginning at 7 a.m. The outage is required to
upgrade a transformer that distributes power to CIRT.
However, network services will be available on campus
and by remote access. UPS (Uninterruptible Power
Supply) units will provide power for computing services
during the outage. The CIRT Computer Pod will close at
midnight, Friday, Oct. 24 and remain closed all day Oct.
25. The building will be locked during the outage.
of technology helped UNM employees and students better communicate
across campus and around the world. But because university computer
users share network access vunerable to attacks by worms and
viruses, users also share responsibility to protect equipment.
Information Resources and Technology (CIRT) offers critical
support in a variety of ways.
summer, some Windows users (with NT, 2000 and XP systems) connected
to the UNM network have been vulnerable to the W32Blaster.worm
and Sobig.F Worm and several other variants.
dealing with epidemics, CIRT staff organized to respond. Technicians
headed across campus to disconnect compromised computers and
stem the spread of infection. In some cases, entire buildings
had to be disconnected from the network until infected computers
were isolated and bugs removed.
weeks staff cleaned up operating systems and shared information
with users about current patches and fixes, said
Jeff Gassaway, security administrator and technical support
Support Center received a record number of calls.
was a big human resource issue. We had to make diagnoses, make
time for educational efforts and create hundreds of CDs with
removals tools, Gassaway said.
network was slow or intermittant in some places for a few days
in August. There were people who lost everything [on hard drives].
That was the extreme, said Scott Parker, technical support
started in August, about 1,500 dorm and Student Residence Center
users clamored onto the network. Nearly 80 percent signed on
unprotected. On unarmed systems a worm or virus can enter in
little more than 20 seconds.
the 2003 spring semester we had to hunt down maybe four or five
computers a week to disconnect. The first week of fall semester
it was 40 or 50 a day, Parker said.
the next few weeks, CIRT will begin using a new network tool,
NetReg www.netreg.org, to
aid in the ongoing virus battle. The tool will allow CIRT to
register computers for the sole purpose of checking for vulnerabilities.
is not big brother. If the system responds in a certain way
we will know its patched and then you can register,
said Matt Carter, technical support analyst.
Go to www.unm.edu/cirt/virus.html
for information on antivirus software. As well, Internet firewalls,
can be installed to offer additional security and are available
at the UNM Bookstore.
users should check the Microsoft site regularly for updates.
For important news on the UNM network, subscribe to the CIRT
(email) mailing list sysinfo-I at www.unm.edu/cirt/sysinfo.
information, contact the CIRT Support Center, 277-4848.