Computer Update Critical
has released a major update that enhances Internet security by more
effectively combating viruses, hackers and worms. Northern employees
and students are strongly encouraged to invest the time required
to complete a one-time installation of the Service Pack 2 update
before or immediately after the holiday break.
is also important to do the regular Symantec Anti-Virus and Windows
critical updates upon your return to campus because the potential
for trouble increases when a computer has been shut down for an
viruses or new Windows XP vulnerabilities may have cropped up since
you last did an update," said John Limback (Academic
Computing). "Doing the virus and windows updates immediately
when you get back – before reading e-mail or surfing the Net – will,
in most cases, protect you from any new problems."
has adopted a proactive strategy in the hope of avoiding a repeat
of the predicament that surfaced in January of last year.
the start of the winter semester we had over 650 faculty, staff
and students who had to visit the Help Desk for virus-related issues,"
Limback said. "They were unable to effectively use their computers
until their problems were resolved."
frequent Symantec Anti-Virus and Windows critical updates are important,
and should continue, but they may not address some of the attacks
fueled by two primary culprits: Spyware and Adware. These programs
can infect computers through e-mail attachments that are opened,
Web pages infiltrated by a virus that are viewed through a browser
such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, and through unprotected ports
on a computer connected to a network.
have the potential to spread and wreak havoc on other computers.
There are two modes of transmission: a mechanism automatically forwards
e-mail messages with infected attachments to the people listed in
one's e-mail address book; or the virus perpetually clones itself
and travels into a computer network – such as the NMU network –
in search of vulnerable computers that do not have updated anti-virus
number of side effects can occur when a computer becomes infected.
The Web browser, and possibly other applications, may open very
slowly or not at all. If the browser does open, the action may spawn
numerous pop-up windows that – when closed – force even more pop-up
windows to appear. The computer might not be capable of restarting
and the network connection speed can be reduced to a sluggish pace.
results like these happen, many people head to the Help Desk. They
may join a long line of other users whose computers became infected
because they did not update their anti-virus software. It can take
an hour or longer for Help Desk to remedy the problem, depending
on its complexity.
for the Microsoft update (Windows XP Service Pack 2), which only
has to be done once, can be found at SP2.
From there, a good resolution to carry through the new year would
be to ensure that Symantec Anti-Virus is frequently updated and
that Windows critical updates are installed as they become available.