The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 15, 2009

UPJ investigating source of computer virus

JOHNSTOWN — Officials at UPJ say they are re-evaluating their computer defenses after their network fell victim to a virus attack last week.

They also are continuing their investigation into the source of the attack, which was first noticed early Tuesday.

At about 5 a.m., members of the information technology department noticed that something foreign on the network was consuming large amounts of bandwidth. In effect, the virus clogged the networks to such a degree that the flow of information on campus was reduced to a slow trickle.

“I really credit our IT staff for catching this as quickly as they did, because it really could have had serious consequences,” said Bob Knipple, Director of Alumni and Community Relations at UPJ.

Knipple said that without their quick reaction, the entire IT infrastructure on campus could have been brought down.

All computer labs on campus were closed before noon on Tuesday and several lab-based classes were canceled.

Most students reported no problems or lost data on their personal computers. These students said they had installed the Symantec antivirus software offered free by the IT department.

Some, such as freshman Ariel Halstead, whose computer wasn’t running any antivirus software at the time of the attack, complained of abysmally slow Internet speeds throughout the week.

Knipple said that no administrative systems on campus sustained any permanent damage, and there were no reports of lost or damaged data from any campus department.

The virus came at an unfortunate time for UPJ students, however, as registration for spring classes, a mostly electronic process, began in late October.

All members of the IT department declined to comment about the nature or classification of the virus. Symantec Corp. is in the process of updating the virus definitions and defenses for the campus servers, Knipple said.

He said the IT department will continue to investigate the origin of the attack, but that the virus didn’t necessarily originate on campus. Several servers and Web sites around the world reported similar attacks early last week.

While the IT staff swiftly flushed the virus out of the network, any remnants could have hidden within any machine connected to the network; all of them had to be removed.

Knipple said he feels the likelihood of something like this happening again is relatively low and is confident in the new network defenses being installed.

“I think (it’s) very safe,” he said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cawley Lt. Gov. Cawley pushes jobs plan during Johnstown visit

    Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday and took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toomey & Shuster Bill would help identify unclaimed remains of veterans

    The cremated remains of an estimated 47,000 veterans are stored throughout the United States, sometimes in nothing more than nondescript metal canisters on shelves.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • million Lucky Seward man finds ticket to riches

    People often play the lottery and dream about the things they would do if they won the big one.
    That dream came true for Karl Kadi of Seward, who won $1 million on a $20 Max-A-Million scratch-off lottery ticket.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farrish, James State police make another drug bust on turnpike

    A Pittsburgh man was jailed Thursday after state police said they found about $120,000 in suspected heroin during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/18/2014

    April 17, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads