[ISN] MS Outlook booted off campus

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu May 23 2002 - 02:55:47 PDT

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    By Steve Ranger [22-05-2002]
    Cambridge college sick of virus attacks
    Cambridge women's college Newnham has banned the use of Microsoft
    Outlook and Outlook Express because it is tired of clearing up after
    virus attacks.
    The college, which has around 700 users, took the decision after the
    latest Klez virus outbreak.
    The university mail servers blocked around 200,000 copies of the mail
    but the college had a number of infections which took a while to clean
    Users were informed of the ban on 26 April.
    Newnham College computer officer Paul McLaughlin told vnunet.com: "We
    have banned all users connected to the college network from using
    Outlook or Outlook Express on their machines as I am tired of having
    to allocate resources to clean up virus infections caused."
    "We've taken a phased approach: Outlook is banned but not immediately,
    to give people a chance to change over," he added.
    At the moment users are being advised to use Mulberry, a program the
    University Computing Service helped to develop. McLaughlin said,
    however, that anyone keen to keep a familiar interface to Outlook
    could use the Netscape mail module.
    "A few people said they didn't know how to use anything else but we
    explained that we have to protect the security of the network,"  
    McLaughlin said. "We are a large and prestigious university and we do
    get targeted by people who want to disrupt things, just like any large
    Neil Barrett, technical director at Information Risk Management, said:  
    "It's not a great surprise - I'm surprised that more people haven't
    already taken this step."
    "I have a huge amount of sympathy for the college administrators
    making this change, and I guess if I were in their shoes, I'd do
    something similar," he added.
    Barrett said that Outlook's preview facility, which automatically
    executes Java and XML, made it attractive to virus writers.
    But he warned that if users started migrating to different mail
    packages, virus writers would start developing viruses for them as
    well. "It isn't going to do anything more than give them a short
    reprieve," he said.
    Microsoft has made no comment.
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