The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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ST. JOHN’S STUDENTS AFFECTED BY FAULTY UPDATE CODE FROM MCAFEE

The St. John’s community was heavily impacted by ongoing problems related to a virus that made its way into the University’s servers and networks.

McAfee Inc., a virus prevention software company that services the University, announced today that its daily update code posted at 9 a.m. E.S.T. mistakenly identified a normal Windows file as a virus and caused computers to continuously reboot.

The McAfee anti-virus software is a standard program placed on the University-issued Lenovo Thinkpads.

Many St. John’s students have been affected by this problem and are unable to use their personal laptops. Classes were disrupted and computers in the library, Sullivan, and the D’Angelo Center have also been affected by the faulty code.

Joseph Tufano, vice president of Information Technology, has been working to correct the problem on the Queens campus.

“This is a bad situation, we’re really upset,” Tufano said. “They’ve given us a procedure to erase the problem but it’s not working to our satisfaction. We’re continuing to fix the problem. We are sending out our user service people to fix computers all over campus.”

Worldwide, the McAfee anti-virus software is used by corporations, hospitals, universities and many other institutions. All computers, including University laptops, that were on the network during the time the code was sent out have experienced immediate reboots during which the computer will shut down and remain inactive.

According to a statement issued today by McAfee, the company is “not aware of significant impact on consumers and believe we have effectively limited such occurrences.”

Maura Woods, associate vice president of Information Technology, said the IT department is working to implement the corrective procedure issued by McAfee.

“We’ve had to tweak the procedure because we’re not satisfied with what McAfee’s given us,” she said. “We’ve been testing computers on campus all day to see if the problem resurfaces.”

The Department of Information Technology is attempting to correct the problem on campus computers before it takes on student’s personal laptops.

“If you have not experienced a problem you will be okay,” Tufano said. “If you have, we will work with you to fix it. We’re trying to bring everything back to normal but we don’t know how long that will take.”

While the procedure to correct the crash is being tested, Tufano encouraged students to be patient.

“I don’t want to tell students to bring them in now because we don’t know what to do with them yet,” Tufano said.

To avoid requiring students to physically bring in their laptops, IT is working to create a system through which the code that caused the reboot can be corrected across campus through the servers.

“We want to get the procedure correct before we open it up to all students,” Woods said.

The IT department expects to post a statement to St. John’s Central with further instruction on what to do with laptops that have been affected as early as tomorrow.

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