The following information pertains only to computers utilizing a Windows-based operating system that have become infected with a virus and that are on the UH Network.
Detecting and Removing Viruses
Detecting and Removing Spyware
Preventing Future PC Infections
Change/create passwords for Windows Computers
Windows Updates and Patches
Getting Your Computer Unblocked
After Your Computer is Unblocked
Virus infection is a common reason a computer can get blocked from the University of Hawaii network. A virus is defined as a program that was purposely designed to be loaded and run unknowingly on a computer. Some viruses replicate themselves and spread to other computers using the network or via infected email messages. Computers are blocked from the network in order to prevent this from happening.
If you previously have been able to get on the Internet, haven't made any changes to your computer network system, but find that you are unable to get to a web address using a browser while others in your office are able to do so, there is a possibility that your UH Username or Internet Protocol (IP) address might be blocked from the UH network. You may call the Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk at (808) 956-8883 from O'ahu, or (800) 558-2669 from the neighbor islands to check if this could be the case.
If your computer is acting very sluggish or is randomly experiencing control problems, or if you have received email messages from friends saying that an email you sent them contained a virus, your computer may be infected with a virus. You should run through the following virus removal procedures to ensure that your computer is not a security risk.
The Stinger program is a stand-alone utility used in removing some of the more common viruses found on computers today. Stinger is updated every couple of months to keep up-to-date with the newest viruses. You should always download the latest version. You can obtain an updated version of Stinger along with instructions on how to use the program from http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/.
If you do not have access to a computer with an Internet connection, you can walk into an ITS Lab and we will download the software for you. Please be sure to bring a USB flash drive.
The University of Hawaii provides anti-virus software free to active University faculty, staff, or students with a valid UH Username and password. You can download the anti-virus software and instructions online from http://www.hawaii.edu/askus/1254.
Spyware is one of the common reasons a computer can get blocked from the University of Hawaii network. Spyware is defined as software that gathers user's information through the Internet without his or her knowledge. Once installed the software monitors the user's activity on the Internet and transmits the information to a third party.
ITS-Recommended Anti-Spyware McAfee AntiSpyware Enterprise, Malwarebytes (MBAM), and SuperAntiSpyware are described at http://www.hawaii.edu/askus/670
Other anti-spyware programs are listed below.
Ad-Aware is a spyware removal program that may be used free for home use. (If you are using a computer on a University of Hawaii campus or a computer with a University of Hawaii decal, it does not qualify for a free use, and should be licensed accordingly.) You can download the Ad-Aware software and view the instructions at http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/.
Spybot S&D (Search & Destroy) is a free spyware removal program that we recommend for campus use. You can download the Spybot software and view the instructions at http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html.
This is probably the most important and overlooked step of cleaning a PC. The PC must be secured and patched to prevent future infections. If your PC is not secured you may be re-infected and blocked from using the UH network multiple times. If you have been blocked from using the UH network previously it will be more difficult to get your PC unblocked on successive network blockings.
It is important to be sure that all of the accounts on your Windows computer have secure passwords. Insecure passwords can be easily guessed or obtained by automated guessing programs. A secure password is at a minimum six to eight characters long with at least one upper, one lower, one number and one special character. See Password Guidelines for tips on creating strong passwords.
In order to create or change the password on your Windows XP computer, open Start > Control panel > User Accounts.
Click on the account you wish to create/change the password for.
Then click Change my password or Create a password (if no password has yet been created for the account).
Type in your current password, your new secured password, and your new secured password again to confirm. You may use a password hint if you think you may need it but it is not required. Then click the Change password button.
Windows updates and patches are important for securing Windows PCs. Your computer may get infected or compromised if the Windows security patches are not up-to-date.
To manually check for Windows updates:
The most important update for Windows XP computers is Service Pack 3. Service Pack 3 comes with most of the important updates needed to keep your computer secure, so you should be sure to have Service Pack 3 installed on your Windows XP computer. You can download Windows XP Service Pack 3 from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389.
Once you have completed the previous instruction you can call the ITS Help Desk at (808) 956-8883 to get your computer unblocked. Please be aware that your computer can get blocked again if problems persist. Repeat offenders will have more strict consequences, and risk the possibility of not being able to use the Internet through the UH network.
After your computer is unblocked you want to make sure that your computer is completely up-to-date with ALL of the Windows updates (Note: Windows updates should be applied regularly, especially after Patch Tuesday, the second Tuesday of the month, when Microsoft releases Windows security updates).
Click the Start button. Click All Programs. Click Windows Update
Click Check for Updates in the left pane.
If any updates are available, they will be listed. Click the link for the update to view its description.
Check all critical and any important updates you wish to install. Note: uncheck updates that you wish to install later. Always install critical updates. Click OK.
Click the Install Updates button. If prompted, please close all applications and restart your computer.
Open up your Microsoft Internet Explorer and open Tools > Windows update.
Then you want to select the button Custom in order to select the updates you want to install.
You want to make sure all of the High Priority updates are done. Select High Priority then click on Review and install updates.
You may have to restart the computer when the updates are finished. Repeat this process until High Priority (0) is displayed.
last updated: July 2011