The University Record, September 18, 1995

Alert! Computer Virus Detected

From the Information Technology Division

Individuals who installed the MacConnectivityKit 2.0 between June 6 and Sept. 12 are encouraged to check their computers and any disks used in these machines for the nVIR virus. This virus is not intentionally damaging or malicious; it’s only apparent effect is to say “Don’t panic” or to beep occasionally. Even so, it can cause unintentional damage to files. The Information Technology Division (ITD) recommends that all viruses be removed as soon as they are detected.

On Sept. 12, an ITD computer consultant discovered the virus and took immediate steps to eradicate the problem. We believe that the infection has been present for no more than two weeks, but to ensure that nobody remains infected, we prefer to consider a wider time frame. Users who see the disinfectant INIT icon on startup, which displays with a V on a shield at startup, should have been fully protected.

Most people would have obtained this kit through IFS using the Chooser; we believe that very few people were affected. The Macintosh Connectivity Kit is found in ~swdist in the following sequence of folders: bundles:mac:MacConnectivityKit2.0:via_ifs. The only infected file was the Connectivity Kit Installer, which is the first file used to install the kit. Those who got the kit at Welcome Week are not affected.

Macintosh users who suspect they may have infected disks are encouraged to scan them using the disinfectant application as soon as possible. Anyone finding an infection should check any other machines on which the infected disk was used.

ITD consultants are available to help users check their disks and remove any viruses found. Contact the consultants by phone, 764-HELP; e-mail: sulting@umich.edu or at Angell Hall Courtyard and NUBS computing sites.

The University provides and supports the disinfectant antiviral package for Macintosh computers. Faculty, staff and students can obtain free copies by bringing an initialized disk to Angell Hall Courtyard, the NUBS Computing Resource Site, or other ITD computing sites with Macintosh computers. The disinfectant is found on the Mac_Archives by looking within the following folders: util:virus:Disinfectant; the current version is Disinfectant 3.6.

Computer viruses are an ongoing threat. While ITD continues to make every effort to defeat virus infections and to contain their spread, it is not possible to prevent all viruses all of the time. We recommend that all computer users install and use up-to-date antiviral software to minimize the possibility of virus-related damage and loss of productivity. For more information, see the GOpherBLUE information server under the “Computing on Campus” and “U-M Software Information” menus.

For information on computer viruses, contact Bruce Burrell, bpb@umich.edu, or the virus-busters team, virus-busters@umich.edu.