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Computer virus strikes U

4:18 AM Posted by Slamy

A computer virus is the cause of headaches and heartburn at the University of Utah.

The Conficker virus, which can slow down your computer and steal personal information, click on the U. the network later this week. So far the virus has primarily health care, including the university, three hospitals, the schools of Medicine, the College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and the College of Health, said Chris Nelson, spokeswoman for Health Sciences at the U.

Nelson said patient data and medical records have not been compromised.

"That's secured in a much deeper way because of the implications," he said.

Nelson said the problem is mainly confined to personal computers. The virus does not affect Macs.

He said university staff first noticed the virus was in the system Thursday after Internet access and e-mail slowed. In response, the university shut down Internet access within the health sciences units at 10 a.m. on Friday. Internet access continued for the rest of campus, said Mindy Tueller, of the U.'s Office of Information Technology.

Nelson said the virus has been contained but is not yet out of the system. He said Friday that he expected university staff to work through the weekend to fix it.

He also said patient care will not be affected as doctors will be able to access the Internet when needed. Mainly, he said, it has just been an inconvenience, especially for faculty members trying to meet grant deadlines.

Though the virus has mainly stayed within health sciences, Tueller said all faculty and students should take steps to make sure they're protected.

"It can do a lot of bad things," Tueller said. "Every university member should be concerned about this if they're using Windows-based devices."

Brigham Young University has had only isolated incidents of the virus, said Brent Harker. BYU director of Web communications. Utah State University and Salt Lake Community College have also been largely unaffected, officials at those schools said.


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