Campus to install new email anti-virus program

In February, the campus expects to install a leading anti-virus program known for an ability to detect phishing attacks--those fraudulent attempts to trick people into disclosing account numbers and other personal information online.

The ClamAV software, designed specifically to scan email for viruses at mail gateways, will replace a similar virus-scanning product by Trend Micro Inc. that the campus expects to stop using before its contract ends in June. The scans will not delay any messages, said Jatinder Singh, infrastructure systems manager in the Data Center and Client Services section of Information and Educational Technology.

The program fits well with the campus email architecture, Singh said, and many universities use it. ClamAV will scan all messages routed through the campus email service. Email users and system administrators won't have to do anything; the change will happen at the Data Center.

Several campus groups had a hand in choosing ClamAV, including the email architecture group and the Technology Infrastructure Forum security subcommittee.

The software spots phishing scams by comparing messages against various signatures and lists of known URLs, which are updated several times daily to detect the newest attacks. In most other respects, ClamAV works similarly to Trend Micro, and will continue to help protect UC Davis email from fraud and abuse.

(If you use a computer or PDA, you also have a role in keeping the campus free of computer viruses by following the cyber-safety policy and installing anti-virus software on individual computers.)