Viruses and other computer threats are most often spread through e-mail attachments. This is why Information Technology Services (ITS) has implemented a first line of defense through the installation of multi-tier server-level virus protection software on all University e-mail servers.
The virus protection software automatically scans all incoming e-mail messages before they are delivered to a user's mailbox. If the software detects an infected e-mail attachment, it will remove the attachment from the message and replace it with a text file containing information about the virus (see Figure 1). The original message will be delivered to the intended recipient along with the text file. The text file is safe to open and will not harm your computer.
Figure 1 - Server Text File Notification
In addition to the server-level virus protection software, workstations that have the Desktop Services Software (DSS) installed include Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 software, which provides a third layer of defense against virus attacks. If your workstation does not have the DSS image and you would like to have it installed, contact your college ITC.
If the anti-virus software on your workstation detects an infected e-mail attachment, it will remove the attachment from the message and replace it with a text file containing information about the virus (see Figure 2). The text file is safe to open and will not harm your computer.
Figure 2 - Workstation Text File Notification
You can obtain anti-virus software for your home computer by visiting the Desktop Protection page.
Blocked E-mail Attachments
Since most viruses are transmitted through e-mail attachments, Information Technology Services (ITS) is blocking e-mail attachments with certain file extensions (see list below). Blocking attachments most commonly used by viruses adds an additional layer of protection against virus attacks. Messages containing attachments that are blocked will still be delivered, but the attachments will be removed.
File extensions that are blocked: