IT EXPERT IDENTIFIES HOWICK VIRUS AND SUGGESTS A CURE

2010-07-09 00:00

THE computer virus that struck the area around Howick has finally been identified as a nameless variation of a common virus known as Win32.Patched.er, an information technology (IT) expert said yesterday.

Longonot Computers’ IT expert Rory Gray told The Witness that the nameless virus behaves in a similar way to all Win32.Patch viruses.

“Such viruses relatively behave in a similar way and hide in similar places. It’s also quite easy to locate them.”

Gray said such viruses normally “infect one of the Windows system files and when the ­anti-virus removes that corrupted file, Windows is then prevented from starting up”.

The Witness reported last week that at least 15 computer owners in Howick had fallen victim to the virus. Since then, The Witness was told, more than 10 other computer users have reported similar cases.

Gray told The Witness that there is a way to overcome the threat posed by the virus. “All you need to do is use the Windows XP disc to repair the damage. The disc will reinstall the Windows system over itself and you won’t lose any data.”

He advised computer users to guard against computer virus infections, especially when surfing the Internet.

“Stay away from dodgy websites like those that offer pornography and avoid downloading pirated software because that’s how viruses spread.”

“Get a good anti-virus package and keep it up to date; that will minimise the threat,” he said.

Gray said choosing the right package is important as “some will only heal and some will delete the virus completely”.

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