Computer Security Compromises Leads to DMCA Notifications

Over the past three months, the campus has received a growing number of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notifications. These notifications allege that unauthorized copyrighted materials may be residing on computers connected to the campus network. Recently, we have found a dramatic growth in the number of DMCA notifications that involve computers used by department staff and faculty members. In most cases, the subject computer has been found compromised by a computer virus or malicious program, including Backdoor.Subseven and IRC.Backdoor.Trojan (See: http://archives.neohapsis.com/archives/ntbugtraq/2002-q2/0121.html for a related discussion). Along with the copyrighted material, file transfer programs and proprietary programs have been found distributed in various folders of the compromised computer. It is suspected that the compromises may have been caused during a visit to a web site or by the download of an infected file. Following good security practices may help to reduce your computer's susceptibility to such exploits. It is strongly advised that you ensure that your computer is current in respect to available operating system patches and virus updates, you have removed unnecessary programs/services and you avoid the use of weak, easily guessable passwords when accessing your computer. If a staff or faculty computer has been successfully compromised, it is also suggested that you also contact your department technical staff to check for the possible spread of the malicious programs.