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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Computer viruses plaguing campus

By Chris Wiehe, Computing Center
programmer/analyst

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 29 - April 24, 1997

Viruses have become a problem among personal computer users. More recently, macro viruses have become a serious threat to users of Word and Excel. "A virus is a computer program created to infect other programs with copies of itself. Viruses may be benign and result only in amusement or mere annoyance, or malignant and malicious when they destroy or alter data."--John McAfee, computer-virus expert

Computer users should use an active anti-virus scanner to continually check their system and any files they open for viruses. Additionally, an anti-virus scan of the complete system should be performed at least once a week.

To encourage good anti-virus practices and help prevent the spread of computer viruses, Virginia Tech has a site license for Dr. Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit. Dr. Solomon's is available to all faculty and staff members and currently enrolled students. There is no charge to university affiliates for the software other than an exchange of new diskettes (the number of diskettes needed depends on your operating system). The software may legally be used both on university and home machines.

Dr. Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit is available for DOS (four diskettes), Windows 3.x (five diskettes), Windows 95 (seven diskettes), Windows NT (seven diskettes), Macintosh (one diskette), Netware (eight diskettes), OS/2 (six diskettes), and SCO UNIX (six diskettes).

All versions are available at 220 Hutcheson and Tech Connect. You must exchange the correct number of new diskettes for the version you wish to obtain. Faculty and staff members may also obtain copies through Computer Purchasing.

Information on Dr. Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit and its distribution can be accessed via the following URL: http://www.cc.vt.edu/cc/us/docs/virus/drsols.htm.

There is also more information available about computer viruses that can be found on the Computing Center's central anti-virus page, which can be accessed via the following URL: http://www.cc.vt.edu/cc/us/docs/virus.html.

The newest releases of Dr. Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit are also available on-line. The distribution sets that are available for download are full release versions (i.e. you don't need a previous version to install an update). Version 7.69 is currently available; updates will be available monthly. All versions except the SCO UNIX distribution are available on-line.

Note that if you have or suspect you have a virus on your system, you must still get the diskette-based distribution so you can scan your system before installing Dr. Solomon's AVTK.

The download page contains instructions for the installation of Dr. Solomon's AVTK for your particular operating system. It can be accessed via the following URL: http://www.cc.vt.edu/cc/us/docs/drsol-download.html.

Manuals for all versions of Dr. Solomon's AVTK are available for two-day checkout at the reserve desk of Newman Library.

Users are welcome to call the Computing Center at 4-HELP (1-HELP) if they have questions regarding Dr. Solomon's AVTK.