BREAKING NEWS: Computer worm forces class registration postponement

Posted: Friday, April 9, 7:30 p.m. — A crippling computer worm has forced the shut-down of several GW Web sites and will delay class registration until at least Monday, officials said.

Officials prevented access to the Banner System and several other sites starting Friday afternoon in an attempt to escape the devastating effects of a worm that steals students’ login passwords and sends them to hackers. As of Friday afternoon, students could still log on to Colonial Mail.

The worm has already infected several computers using the GW network, according to the Information Systems and Services’ Help Desk site.

Officials said Banner, which students use to register for classes, would be shut down throughout the weekend. They were unsure if the site would be accessible by Monday. Class registration for next semester began Tuesday, and was scheduled to continue until April 16.

“To protect the students and the University, the best thing was to shut the system down for the weekend,” media relations specialist Matt Lindsay said. ISS officials could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

“If there was another way to do it, they would have done it,” Lindsay added.

While Lindsay was unsure when students scheduled to register this weekend would be able to sign up for classes, he said the University would “figure out a registration process so it’s fair for students.”

ISS cautioned students against logging on to GW sites until they enhance their computers’ security by following instructions provided on its Web site (http://helpdesk.gwu.edu/).

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