Update on virus outbreak spreading via USB drives - Nov. 13

As we reported yesterday, there is a computer virus on campus that is spreading via USB drives (a.k.a. flash or thumb drives), including USB hard drives, that is altering the contents of the USB drives. Your antivirus program might also have been giving you messages every couple seconds about "blocked connections."

The virus has been identified as a new variant of the Houdini virus. Last night, our antivirus vendor released an immediate update that will clean the virus.

The good news is that, in some cases, we have found that USB files/data may be recoverable, providing the USB device has not been reformatted. The virus simply hides files from you. If you have a USB device that all the files recently "disappeared" on, do not reformat it - we may be able to help you. We are working on a fix that may restore that data for you. We will be sending an email later today with details of where and when you can bring your USB drives to attempt recovery.

While we work to clean up the virus and verify that our computers will not get it again, as a precaution, we recommend that you to continue refraining from taking a USB drive from computer to computer on campus.

We are working on a repair for university-owned computer that we will be "pushing" out to all computers on the main campus. We will let you know more about this at the end of the day today.

If you have any questions, please contact the TAC at (231) 591-4822, or toll free at (877) 779-4822.

Ferris State Information Technology Services

Last updated: 11-13-2013