Board of Regents Responds to "Code Red" Worm
PIERREIn response to the "Code Red" computer worm and other computer worms predicted to strike, the off-campus external computer services and connections for Regental institutions have been temporarily shut down.
"Because of their scholarly role, the universities and special schools operate in a very complex technology environment," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "The universities and special schools have sustained no damage to any computer functions. Further, we are not worried that there will be any damage to mission critical functions. Nevertheless, this complex environment requires a protective action to security threats."
Upon fully securing the system from external Internet connections, university and Regental information technology staff spent the weekend examining existing protections and identifying additional security systems. "The universities and special schools have in place extensive protections for e-mail and Internet access," said Perry. "Just as the various viruses and worms continue to evolve, however, new protective tools also continue to evolve. It is a matter of installing these tools at the server and network levels."
Perry estimated that most normal off-campus services and connections will be restored before the end of business today. "We will not restore access through computers in the residence halls on the university campuses or remote access from off-campus yet. Our information technology staff is still looking at options to secure the networks from intruders that might attempt to enter the system through computers that are not located on campus. We hope to restore those services by next week."
"We Americans assume the convenience of our technology," said Perry. "So the universities and special schools are being cautious at a time that is one of the least busy weeks of the year for our information systems. We also assume that our computer records and operations will function properly. That makes network security and maintenance a priority. Anything less would be remiss."
For more information, contact: Dr. Lee Alley, Chief Information Technology Officer, (605) 773-3455 or Dr. Warren Wilson, Director of Regents Information Systems, (605) 677-5047.
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