Oxford Brookes University network hit by Conficker

The network at Oxford Brookes University has been hit by a version of the Conficker worm.

In a statement, the university admitted that there had been a ‘computer virus outbreak' with a ‘sustained and significant virus attack on the Brookes network'.

It confirmed that it had been hit by a version of Conficker, and said: “We are presently working to counteract it but this may result in unpredictable disruption to network services. Servers and desktop PCs have been affected, including the pooled computer room PCs.”

It advised members of staff to check their office PC for the virus by using the Conficker diagnostic tool, and should the diagnosis reveal that their PC has the virus users should log out immediately, switch off their computer and contact IT support staff.

The statement said: “We are busy working on the pooled room computer network, unfortunately this has meant unplanned interruptions and we are doing our best to resolve the problems.

“There is a considerable amount of work already underway to identify and disinfect infections across the network services. You may also find some network services are slow, so please be patient. This situation should improve and we'll continue to keep you updated.”

Last month, the network at Ealing Council was left crippled for several weeks when a worker accidentally plugged an infected memory stick into a computer. A week later, Conficker Working Group director Rodney Joffe, claimed that it had also been hit by Conficker.

Oxford Brookes University later issued a statement, which claimed that it experienced an appearance from a version of the Conficker virus on its network on the 1st October.

It said: “The university's computer services team was quick to take action to counter the virus on shared student PCs and those used by its staff.

“By this morning, most systems were operational but some services remain slightly slower due to the increased anti-virus measures which have subsequently been put in place. The university will continue to keep it under review but expects the impact on performance to be minimal and temporary.”

Oxford Brookes also advised staff and students to check whether their computers were able to contact the Sophos anti-virus website, with staff being told to shut off their computer and contact their colleagues in IT if this applied to them.

The statement claimed that Sophos anti-virus software is available free of charge to Brookes students and staff for personal use.

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