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Commissioners agree to buy anti-virus computer software



Published: Fri, November 16, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The county's servers have not been infected.

By STEPHEN SIFF

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Trumbull County commissioners are investing in a new anti-virus computer program.

About half county's 500 computers have been plagued by computer viruses in the last six months.

The viruses were spread by e-mail attachments and by employees visiting Internet sites infected with the hostile computer programs, said Linda Sypert, data processing director.

County computers were not specifically targeted for attack, she said.

Safe server: Thus far, only desktop computers have been infected, not the large servers where information about property tax records, deeds and court cases are stored, she said.

"On the servers we have been really lucky," said Ray Chambers, network administrator.

He added, however, that the frequency of virus attacks has increased since September.

The viruses -- tiny bits of programing that replicate themselves to spread from computer to computer -- can wipe out all the files stored in a machine, or make it impossible to save new files. Data processing staff have been able to fix all the infected computers, Chambers said.

Internet factor: Most new computers come with anti-virus programs installed. Many county computers don't have programs because there was no thought of connecting the machines to outside computer systems or the Internet when they were purchased, Sypert said.

"Up until two years ago, we really didn't touch the Internet at all," she said. "We were basically in our own little world."

County employees occasionally do run an anti-virus program on the servers, but the program requires that the servers be shut down from their regular work for two hours, Chambers said.

Commissioners approved a $13,432 bid Thursday from CDW-G, a Vernon Hills, Ill., company, for anti-virus and other computer maintenance software.

siff@vindy.com




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