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UW Network Not Infected With Computer Viruses

(photo: Drew Coffman,

An email alleging that the University of Wyoming’s computer network is infecting end-users with computer viruses is being chalked up to a hasty urban legend.

Robert Aylward, Vice President of Information Technology for the University of Wyoming says that the e-mail, which has been making rounds to UW staff and students, is erroneous and contains a lot of, what Aylward is calling, “bad advice.”

Aylward goes on to say that there is no virus currently running rampant at the university and that, despite a what is advised in the email, there is no need for UW network users to remove personal machines from the network.

A virus from outside the network did attack five machines on campus the week of December 10th.  The virus was believed to have been associated in someway with an internet service that allows documents to be signed electronically.  Aylward says it’s believed that a virus was sent as an email attachment to some people with University of Wyoming email addresses.  Aylward explains that the virus came from outside the University network and infected only UW machines.  To the knowledge of the Information Technology department, there were no cases of a student’s personal machine being infected.

Despite the email alleging a virus attack from within the UW network being untrue, Aylward said that students getting infected machines in other ways isn’t unheard of.

“We do see student machines getting viruses frequently,” Aylward said.  “Usually the student is clicking or downloading something that they shouldn’t.”

He goes on to say that the best way to ward off an attack from a computer virus is to use reliable Anti-virus software, and to keep that software up to date by turning on automatic updates.  Further, Aylward says that people should be mindful of what they’re clicking and making sure it’s something that can be trusted.

For students and staff at the University of Wyoming, computer help is available from the Information Technology department by calling 307-766-HELP.

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