August 20, 2002
Windows 95--Going, going, gone

As of January, 2002, Microsoft stopped supporting the Windows 95 operating system. In September, 2002, Iowa State University will be dropping Windows 95 from its minimum support standards.

This means two important things:

1) Windows 95 machines with problems will only be supported at the most minimum levels (if you call the support hotline and we know the answer to your questions we’ll answer it).

2) If you have machines still running Windows 95, you need to upgrade (if the hardware meets the minimum standards for upgrading to Windows 2000) or purchase a new computer

If you have computers that are running Windows 95 and do not have problems, you can continue using them--they’ll still operate on the network, they’ll still run the programs they’re currently running. However, it’s important to be aware that they may not run new programs or upgrades to existing programs and that if they develop problems they will likely not be repairable.

Posted by dcoates at 08:43 AM
August 16, 2002
Virus Detected and Cleaned

As mentioned in the April, 2002 issue of the CECS newsletter, Click-ON, ISU has installed a system that auto-scans incoming email for known viruses.

When a virus is detected, the system cleans it if possible and inserts 'Virus detected and cleaned' in the Subject of the mail message.

For example:

Virus detected and cleaned; was: W32.Elkern removal tools

When you see a message with this subject it means that someone tried to send you a virus, but it was detected and deleted before it got to your computer. Because of the nature of some current viruses, you may or may not be able to tell who sent you the infected email and the person the email is from may or may not be someone you've ever heard of.

Even with this additional virus scanning, you still need to have up-to-date VirusScan software running on your desktop.

Posted by dcoates at 10:42 AM
August 07, 2002
Just Kidding!

How can you tell if a virus warning you received is the real thing or just a hoax?

The three general characteristics of a virus hoax are that it:

--warns of catastrophic damages to your system
--invokes the authority of a large company that doesn't usually send virus warnings (ex: IBM, AOL, Microsoft)
--urges you to send the warning far and wide

The following are good sites to check for more information:

http://www.f-secure.com/virus-info/hoax
http://vil.nai.com/VIL/hoaxes.asp
http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/hoax.html

If you receive a virus warning and you're not sure whether it's a hoax or the real thing, you can also email us at eit@iastate.edu for help.

Posted by dcoates at 09:29 AM