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Malware is a term which is short for malicious software. It is software which is designed to infiltrate your computer, often to steal sensitive information or to send spam. Malware includes things such as tracking software, keyloggers, “bots”, rootkits, viruses, trojan horses, worms, etc. More information is available in the Malware FAQ.
New computer viruses are appearing all the time so it's important to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date. Computing Services provides the latest versions of anti-virus software on the web to the Binghamton University community for both the Windows and Macintosh platforms.
Real Virus or Virus Hoax?
"Help! I've just received E-mail from a friend telling me about a terrible new virus on the internet. If you read this certain email message, it will erase your hard disk, and permanently damage your computer! What should I do!?"
First you should realize that there are a lot of hoax virus warnings out there, so many in fact that the CIAC, (the U.S. Department of Energy Computer Incident Advisory Capability) wrote:
The Internet is constantly being flooded with information about computer viruses and Trojans. However, interspersed among real virus notices are computer virus hoaxes. While these hoaxes do not infect systems, they are still time consuming and costly to handle. At CIAC, we find that we are spending much more time de-bunking hoaxes than handling real virus incidents. ...
"How can I find out if this virus warning is for real?"
Don't believe your friend, go to the real virus experts, if the threat is real, one of these sources will probably be able to tell you more about it than your friend can. If you are looking for a good place to start, check out these fine papers from IBM's Antivirus Online site:
For more information, consult these sources on viruses and hoaxes.
Phishing is the act of sending an email message in an attempt to obtain private, sensitive information such as passwords or financial information by claiming to be a legitimate, trustworthy enterprise. There have been several phishing scams that have appeared to come from legitimate campus sources. You should be aware of what phishing is and what to do about it. (more...)
Last modified: 25 June, 2013