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WVU students, employees should be sure antivirus protection is up to date

With the number of cyber threats constantly growing, Information Technology Services is urging WVU students and employees to ensure their personal devices are protected from viruses, malware and other kinds of cyber attacks. Visit http://freeav.wvu.edu/ to install Kaspersky Antivirus on up to three personal devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones.

Although WVU has not yet been a victim, Information Security Services is seeing an increase in malicious attempts elsewhere to overload and crash computer networks, known as a Distributed Denial of Service attack. Typically, these attacks are aimed at disrupting an organization’s operations rather than trying to obtain data.

Gamers may already have experienced a Distributed Denial of Service attack: On Christmas Day, both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network were attacked by a hacking group that had previously attacked Microsoft and Sony. As a result, users were shut out at the very time many were opening and trying to use their new holiday gifts.

The goal of a Denial of Service attack is disruption; the only difference with a Distributed Denial of Service attack is that it is launched using multiple machines. Hackers take over machines that are infected with viruses, often without the user’s knowledge, and use those infected machines to attack networks.

These Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attacks often last for many hours as the hackers keep switching to different infected machines, making it difficult for IT managers to determine which machines are orchestrating the attack and flooding the network with massive volumes of data.

If you have already installed Kaspersky on your personal devices, the program will automatically update your antivirus protections for you.

To learn more about a variety of cyber threats, click here: http://usa.kaspersky.com/resources/faqs

To learn more about how you can protect yourself, visit DefendYourData.wvu.edu.

For the latest on outages, tools and more, follow @wvuoit on Twitter, “like” WVU Information Technology on Facebook or visit it.wvu.edu.