Friday, 3 February 2006

nyxem.e computer virus wrecks havoc


By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Feb 3: The malicious nyxem.e computer virus that infected several systems around the world on Friday caused trouble to the State government for some time breaking down the link between the State secretariat and district offices.
The Indian Railways was, however, not affected by the virus because of the precautions it had taken. The network functioned as usual without any problems. But the call centres of some national and multinational companies, including computer firms, were hit as also the work in Hyderabad Stock Exchange. Many software training institutes did not switch on the computers as a precautionary measure.
Nyxem.e virus, which is transmitted through e-mail, was discovered on January 20 and it had its first known encounter with computers, particularly those without firewalls and anti-virus software. The virus is programmed to become active on the third day of every month deleting data and generating e-mail messages on its own.
According to official sources, the Andhra Pradesh State Wide Area Network got affected by the virus and computer maintenance officials had a hectic time in rectifying the problem. The computers in Khammam district collector's office could not establish contact with the State secretariat in Hyderabad. Computers in government offices in Vijayawada and elsewhere in Krishna district did not report any problem. Officials in Nellore district did not open the internet.
"The exact damage to computers will be known only by tomorrow morning when computers will be switched on for the day's work. Since most of the computers were working on Friday the virus may not have revealed its true colours. The actual impact will be known only when the computers are switched off and re-started," said Scantech Info Systems managing partner Imran Khaleeq.
According to MH Noble of Zoom Technologies, several computers in Hyderabad and elswhere in the country were badly hit. But the damage could be controlled because of awareness created by newspaper reports.
"Nyxem.e infection is at its highest in India, Peru, Italy and Malaysia. Sri Lanka was the least affected. India ranked first with 37 per cent risk," he pointed out.
AA Khalidi of QSM Software Training Institute said they had switched off the computers for the day. "We did not function today. Like us many training centres took the wise decision of not opening internet," he observed.

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