OIT: Defend your computer against virus activity

SMU’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) reports a recent uptick in campus computers infected by viruses spread manually when users click on fake anti-malware alerts. Rachel Mulry, assistant director of the OIT service desk, sent information and instructions in the following e-mail, sent Feb. 19, 2010, to guard against the malicious code:

Fake virus alertOver the past several weeks, the Help Desk has received a growing number of reports of employee computers infected with a FakeAlert or “AntiMalware” Trojan virus. If you are on a website and a message pops up indicating that your computer is infected with a virus or spyware, DO NOT click on the link. Typically this type of virus code is manually spread and comes from a malicious or compromised website, a chat session, or is embedded in an email link.

The first part of the code simply launches the pop-up window. Once you click on that pop-up window to “scan your computer,” you authorize the installation of the full virus code. Following the infection, you will see a series of pop-up windows, have difficulty browsing the internet or your web browser will be redirected to questionable websites.

If a security alert, similar to the one pictured in this message, appears on your virus alert, please do the following:

  1. Do NOT click on any links or on any area of the pop up window.
  2. Shut down your computer immediately.
  3. Disable System Restore.
  4. Double-click on Microsoft Forefront.
  5. Click the Arrow next to the Scan option.
  6. Select full scan.
  7. During the full scan, Forefront should detect and remove any traces of the virus code from your computer.
  8. Enable System Restore.
  9. Once complete, restart your computer normally.

If your computer is infected or you have any further questions, please contact the IT Help Desk at 214-768-4357.

Visit the Office of Information Technology website at smu.edu/help