Is your PC vulnerable to attack?

06 October 2003
If you're running Windows XP or 2000, your PC is vulnerable to attack from an increasingly creative and damaging variety of viruses, worms and other executable computer code.

Attacks tend to come in two ways: from infected e-mail messages and documents, and more recently, across the network directly through unpatched holes in the Windows operating system.

  • How to secure your Windows XP or 2000 computers:

    • Check that you are running Windows XP or 2000. (You must not follow these steps for Windows 95 or 98 PCs). Remember to secure all of your computers: at work, at home, and your laptop. Despite extensive efforts and systems to protect the network, including firewalling, it is often a home PC or laptop brought on to campus that infects the UCT network.
    • Install UCT's anti-virus software: Follow the installation instructions for F-secure version 5.40 on the ICTS web site:, Security | Anti-Virus.
    • Connect to UCT's automatic Windows update service: Follow the instructions for installing SUS on the home page of the ICTS web site: Once installed, the update service will regularly prompt you to accept operating system updates and patches. You must always accept the software updates that are offered to you and reboot your PC when prompted. Also make sure you log off every day.

  • Consequences:

    • ICTS must take action against infected or unprotected vulnerable PCs to protect other UCT network users. It may be necessary to deny such PCs access to the network by literally unplugging them or by disabling their IP access. This removes access to Internet services, including e-mail and would normally only occur after a warning has been issued to the PC.

  • How to regain access to Internet services:

    • The IT Helpdesk (x4500 or can help you disinfect and secure your machine, and then organize to have your IP Internet services access reinstated.

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