RealNews

Computer virus leaks files from Harvard

Usually tight-lipped administrators seemed to loosen up this month, as their personal correspondence — including a memo concerning a case before the Administrative Board — found its way to mere acquaintances. The administrative glasnost was not intentional, however, caused instead by a computer virus that swept across the Internet in early June and infected a number of University Hall machines. When the Bugbear.b virus, which hit campus June 6, infects a machine, it sends messages to recipients on an individuals’ address book and past message history. In addition to a virus-laden attachment, such e-mails often contain text fragments from files on that machine, which may include documents and private correspondence. Harvard students reported receiving a variety of seemingly misaddressed, unusual messages, mostly bearing harmless communications about scheduling. But at least one message, sent from an infected machine on the second floor of University Hall and received by at least three Harvard undergraduates, contained a confidential memo from Secretary of the Faculty John B. Fox to Dean of the Faculty William C. Kirby. Full Story

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