Computer virus attacks campus, causes headaches

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A single computer virus wrought havoc on the campus of Horry- Georgetown Technical College Monday. IT experts say viruses like this one evolve so fast, it's difficult for anti-virus software to keep up with them.

"We started getting reports of a lot of people getting viruses on their computers," said HGTC Website Director Melissa Monolo. "We were able to track it to the source, and actually our site had malware on it."

The virus, called the Black Hole Virus, was embedded in HGTC's website. With the class registration underway, it affected students and faculty logging on.

"It actually was able to find a password into the system," Monolo said.

Information technology experts call this kind of virus a "drive-by," embedding itself into an otherwise legitimate or secure website.

"An anti-virus company will take care of it and put out new definitions," said IT Specialist Brent Long. "The next day, that hacker finds out there's a definition for it, they change a line of code, and you've got a brand-new virus."

Long says personal computers are even more susceptible to malware and other viruses, and the best thing to do is constantly update the computer's software.

"Always keep your software up to day," Long said. "That includes Windows and any other program you may have. Constantly update your anti-virus, and always check for definition updates."

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