Internet access cut in campus housing

IATS will ‘audit’ each student’s computer for viruses at no charge.
Friday, August 22, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:14 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 11, 2008

The high number of students with virus- and worm-infected computers has forced Information and Access Technology Services to shut down network connections in MU’s residence halls and Greek housing.

Todd Krupa, spokesman for IATS, said each computer will need to be “audited” and cleaned before it can be put back on the network. Until then, computers in dormitories and sorority and fraternity houses are especially vulnerable.

“Any time you put infected machines back on the network you’re going to have a problem,” he said.

Krupa could not estimate how many students are affected because IATS uses the network, currently disabled, to determine how many computers are connected. But he said about half the students in dormitories usually have computers in their rooms.

“That’s part of the challenge here,” he said. “If the network is not available, we can’t know.”

The problem, which also affects students who access the MU server through an off-campus dial-up connection, should be resolved within “a couple of weeks,” Krupa said. IATS staff will be visiting residence halls to conduct virus cleanup and patching, he said.

Students plan to deal with the temporary loss of Internet access in different ways. Freshman Katherine Reiter, an education major, said she’ll make trips to the library and use the computers there.

“I wasn’t really planning on it since it’s so convenient to have Internet in your room,” Reiter said.

Stephanie Johnson, a pre-med student, said she didn’t mind waiting until the problem was solved.

“I’d rather them go ahead and fix the problem than for my computer to get infected,” she said.

Ben Phillips, a sophomore finance major, said while his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, is not connected to the server, members of his house share a lot of files with the network.

“Everyone’s updating their antivirus software to protect the house and the system here,” he said.

Students with computers connected to the MU server should call the IATS help desk at 882-5000.

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