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The GW Hatchet

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Officials to clear homeless encampment near campus in May
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • March 4, 2024

Column: Computer virus attack

My E-mail account: “Re: Your Document.”

Me: “Ooh, mail. Cool. I wonder what it is. Maybe it’s that Nobel Peace Prize I ordered.” (click)

Re: Your Document: “Your computer has detected a virus.”

A virus? Me? But I was always so careful. Sure, I was connected to the network, and I shared my music with iTunes. But I was always careful to use a firewall, and I never messed around with any strange e-mails.

No doubt, many of you have had this same sort of experience recently as GW’s computer network was smacked upside the head by an Internet computer virus called NetSky.T.

It wasn’t so bad when it was just a bunch of random e-mails – although my roommate did get them 60 at a time. Sure, it made it harder to check my important messages, like ones about fantasy baseball. But this problem was all a part of being a motorist on the information superhighway.

But screw with registering for classes? That’s another story. Speaking of which, a short digression: so I find this class listed in the schedule of classes on GWeb and in the schedule of classes booklet. Good sign that the class actually exists, right? I go on to GWeb banner to see if it’s still open. The class isn’t there. It’s not that it’s closed. It’s not even listed. This makes registering for it quite difficult, don’t you think?

This wasn’t the end of my registering fun, though.

I was blessed, or perhaps cursed, to be a part of the University Writing program. So I registered for a Writing in the Discipline class about the Pacific theater during World War II. When I went to register Wednesday morning, I find the class is called Japanese Americans and World War II. Bit of a topic change, don’t you think? I mean, it’s not like all of the sudden that the class is nuclear physics, but it makes me wonder, am I really living at West End next year or on one of the benches outside the Marvin Center?

Given the problems we face with technology just trying to get our classes next year, I think I speak for the entire GW community when I express my loathing of the maniacal genius that spawned this technological terror. Warning: this gets graphic. Please hide the children.


Mr. computer virus creator, seriously, why? As a civilization, we have enough problems with these infernal contraptions without other people messing with them and using them for evil. It’s us versus the machines, not us versus the people who wear shirts that say “There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don’t” and computers. You see, in binary (computer language), 10 is equal to two. This is, as our commander in chief would say, “fuzzy math.”

I’ve been able to glean from Information Systems and Services bulletins that this virus seeks to rob us of our precious passwords. No word on whether or not it also takes the fractions of cents from financial transactions and deposits them into a separate account.

Maybe what we have here is a case of troubled youths being influenced by suggestive content in movies like “Office Space.” We may soon have a crisis in America of destroyed copiers, ripped up TPS reports and computer geeks named Michael Bolton. We as a nation need to prevent our computer nerds from getting their calloused-from-to-much-Everquest hands on such filth.

If I could find any solace in this whole mess, it is that as a Macintosh user, I’m pretty much in the clear. Sure, more people in the world have aquamarine-colored dachshunds than they do Macs, but hey, I don’t have to worry. You PC users can scoff, but keep this in mind: not only is this article being written by, um, I mean on a Macintosh, but the paper you are reading is made with Macs.

I have faith that the “Office Space” wannabes who launched this will be punished. I don’t mean by the authorities. Let’s face it, the GW cyber-community was caught with its mouse between its legs on this one. As I said, this virus steals our passwords. Now the bad guys will get to register for our classes and get the same joy of seeing every section closed for that one class they really want to take. At last, these machines are working in the good guys’ favor.

-The writer, a freshman majoring in political science, is a Hatchet columnist.

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