Policy on Virus and Spyware Removal for ResNet


All students of University residences


Computer virus outbreaks affect all students either directly or indirectly, and this policy change is geared toward helping and educating users with infected computers on the residential network.

Policy Statement:

Effective immediately, students who live in residence halls or Greek houses will be provided with computer virus cleanup assistance through NUIT provided support channels. At the time of the visit, the student will be asked to sign a liability waiver before the work is performed. After cleanup, the NUIT support consultant will assist the student in securing the computer against future infections.

Because of resource constraints, if the computer is infected a second time during the academic year, assistance will be provided to the extent that resources are available and at the discretion of NUIT. Usually, such re-infections will be treated at a lower priority than first infections.

If the student cannot obtain assistance from NUIT, or requires faster service than provided at the reduced priority level, NUIT will offer information to the student about how to contact a third-party desktop support vendor. Specifically, NUIT will refer students to vendors listed on the Purchasing Resource Services Web site.

Background Issues:

NUIT provides networking and other computing support to students. NUIT's network tools enable users to more easily secure their computers as well as clean their computers in the event of an infection. NUIT is expending substantial effort to provide these tools, and the policy described herein is aimed at shifting more security responsibility to student residents while still providing hands-on support, up to a limit, when needed.

Almost all virus infections are preventable, provided that users take the steps outlined by NUIT and do not engage in activities that compromise their machines. When a computer is infected for the first time, NUIT will clean the machine and ensure that appropriate steps have been taken to secure it. This should reduce the chances of re-infection as long as the machine is properly maintained, and allow resources to be re-directed to other services that benefit all students.


General Guidelines

This policy will be administered in the following way, and is subject to resource availability:

  • All assistance requires that the NUIT Support Center complete a trouble ticket in the TSS Trouble Ticket system. This provides a record of assistance for each user.
  • If a user has a major virus or spyware issue that requires cleanup, the ticket history for that user will be examined to see if the user has had a previous cleanup during the academic year. For the first cleanup, the user will be assisted in configuring the computer to meet NUIT secure computing recommendations, after which the user will be educated about appropriate maintenance and computing practices.
  • If the infection is the second time for a user, and the cleanup requires NUIT Support Center resources, the user will be informed that, although the virus issue can be addressed, it is being handled at lower priority. The user will also be informed that he or she:
    1.  has access to resources on the quarantine network for self-remediation,
    2.  can receive phone support for questions, and
    3.  can seek assistance from a third party vendor.
  • In evaluating whether a user has had a second major infection, the following will be taken into account:
    • If the second infection is within three weeks of the first infection and is judged to be a continuance of the original problem, the infection will not be counted as a second infection. The second problem will be considered related to the original if, for example, the re-infection is judged to be a result of incomplete cleanup or security settings on the part of the NUIT Support Center.
    • If the second infection is due to a major outbreak that exploits a previously unknown vulnerability, for which no patch was available at the time of infection, NUIT may waive the second cleanup rule for this virus. However, this determination will be done on a per-incident basis, and will be at the discretion of NUIT's associate director of User Support Services and the NUIT Support Center Manager.

Assistance in Locating Third-Party Vendors

If a student requires assistance from a third-party vendor for a repeat virus infection, the NUIT Support Center will provide information to the student to facilitate resolution. Students will be offered assistance on how to find information about third-party vendors, mainly from the Purchasing Resource Services Web site.

To assist users in working with these vendors, NUIT will e-mail the student's ticket information, describing any relevant information gathered by NUIT in the troubleshooting process, to the student. The student can then forward this information to a third-party vendor if desired.

Last Review Date:

December 2013

Original Issue Date:

December 2004

Revision Dates:

August 2012

December 2009

July 2005

Related Policies: