Coping with the Love Bug Locally (Daily Press)
Coping with the Love Bug Locally
Friday, May 5, 2000
Government, schools and sheriff's offices in Gloucester, Middlesex, Mathews and New Kent counties and the town of West Point reported no problems.
John Eagle, the city's director of information technology, said the city received the "infection" at 10 a.m. and immediately shut down the e-mail system as soon as the virus was recognized. "The impact," he said, "should be pretty minimal." City workers maintained productivity by "going back to old-fashioned systems such as fax machines and telephones," said City Manager George Wallace. Residents who tried to reach city offices via e-mail couldn't, but they could contact the city via the 311 information hotline.
Hampton schools didn't report problems because the city notified school officials early, said school spokeswoman Ann Stephens.
Isle of Wight
A computer technician caught the virus before the county's computer system suffered any damaging affects. All county workers were sent a message urging them to immediately delete the e-mail. The Norton Antivirus program was being used to protect the county's system, said Jimi Morris, a network administrator.
James City County
James City County shut down its e-mail server after getting infected, said John McDonald, county finance manager. Employees in various county departments, the library staff and court employees were affected. The county downloaded a program to eliminate the virus and hoped to bring the e-mail network back online later in the day. The lack of electronic messaging didn't have much effect on county business. "We're still collecting taxes," McDonald said. While the e-mail system was sick, county employees communicated the old-fashioned way: via phone and by walking down the hall, McDonald said.
Workers in Newport News City Hall used e-mail all day but were warned about the virus. Nearly all city employees received at least one, including Mayor Joe S. Frank. One person, a parks department employee, opened the virus-laden e-mail, said Bill Campbell, the city's director of data processing. "It's pretty much business as usual," Campbell said.
As for schools, "We have had a couple of messages that have come in with the attachment with the virus on it," said Ken Engebretson, the school system's executive director of technology information services. "We're doing OK at this point."
By the time the e-mail arrived, City Hall employees knew to delete it, so no computers were actually infected, said Finance Director Pam Moon. Poquoson public schools were not affected.
The city uses GroupWise from Novell as its e-mail software so government computers were immune to the computer virus. About four city workers received the virus message, but no computers were affected and the city's e-mail program functioned all day. Employees were advised to delete the e-mail, said Tom Patrick, Suffolk's information technology director.
No problems were reported at Suffolk Public Schools where e-mail is delivered through Netscape software, said schools spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw.
The city uses the Groupwise e-mail system. Two corrupted messages were stopped before being automatically forwarded, said Wendy Cobb, the city's Information Systems manager. The two "I Love You" messages came from James City County employees. Even though the messages weren't passed on through the city's e-mail server, they did some minor damage to the two Williamsburg employees' graphic programs on their computers.
Assistant City Manager Phillip Rodenberg said the city sent a warning about the virus to its staff early Thursday. They were prepared, however, for the worst.
The Williamsburg-James City County School system reported no problems.
Public school officials shut down all e-mail. School staff checked computers and found the virus had affected only one at Bethel Manor Elementary School. E-mail was restored in the schools a few hours later, but mail is being monitored.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation shut down its e-mail system Thursday after receiving the "I Love You" messages, said Sophie Hart, public relations manager. The messages didn't affect guests at the resort or damage the computer systems that keep track of reservations. The Visitor Center uses computers to distribute tickets and keep track of tours, and those systems continued running. Hart said the only problem was slower interoffice communication. People had to call each other on the phone or use other means to keep in touch. "We're going all the way back to faxing," she said.
Technology specialists shut down the university's e-mail system to avoid further contamination by the virus. The virus spread only to a portion of HU's system, said Debra Faunders White, assistant provost for technology. White said the university was being cautious and investigating the virus further in case it presented other problems when computer users accessed their terminals again.
Thomas Nelson Community College
The system was temporarily shut down to outside e-mail access while systems administrators searched for an anti-virus program. Employees and students were not allowed to send e-mail outside the college or to receive outside e-mail messages.
The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News has not been affected, according to a spokeswoman. Although the e-mail messages have shown up at the lab, computer technicians weren't letting them get through to e-mail users. "We're catching them in the mail log in the computer center and deleting them," said Linda Ware.
A NASA Langley Research Center spokesman said the Hampton center has seen the messages, but they have not disabled the e-mail system.
3 Bubba's Innanet
At 3 Bubba's Innanet, an Internet service provider based in Gloucester, manager Mike McNish said some customers called asking for advice to prevent infection, and a few called because their computers were infected, but there were no major problems. McNish said he was advising callers to download a "LoveLetter" cure from mcafee.com
Stephanie Brammer, who works in the Norfolk Tides office, said a warning to delete the messages was heeded. "Our e-mail is working."
"Somebody hit us with a virus I think called 'Poor Boys' yesterday," said Chuck Hall, promoter for Langley Speedway in Hampton. "It went in and messed up our official's e-mail, the chief steward's. He's not able to receive anything - it just crashed his entire e-mail. But the speedway is fine."
Hampton Roads Admirals
Al Macisaac, general manager, said "Somebody e-mailed me this morning and said be cautious about the virus." The Admirals have not been affected "thus far," he said.
Secretary of Technology Office
Caroline Boyd, the assistant secretary of technology, went to Northern Virginia for a conference Thursday, secure in the knowledge that a staffer would transcribe her voice-mail messages and send them via e-mail to her Palm Pilot.
But the day passed and no one was calling.
"I thought it was weird," she said late Thursday. "I wasn't getting any messages."
When she called her office, she had a slew of messages - especially from reporters who wanted to know what the heck was going on.