Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore College
Tuesday, September 2, 2003
Volume 8, Number 2

Write to us!: daily@swarthmore.edu
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1) Viruses force ITS to disable residential network temporarily

2) World news roundup

3) Campus events


1) Upcoming contests


Today: Rain likely with possible thunderstorms. High of 75.
Weather Jokes 101, for the new Gazette reader:

Tonight: Cloudy with scattered thunderstorms. Low around 65.
The Standard Weather Joke: a joke, occasionally even a good one.
The Meta Weather Joke: a joke about the weather joke. (read: We’re desperate)

Tomorrow: Continued rain. High in the upper 70s.
The Personal Weather Joke: a joke about a topic of personal interest. (read:
It was too late, and we didn’t know what we were doing)


Lunch: Beef stew, cornbread, broccoli-mushroom stir-fry, spinach crepes, corn,
brussel sprouts, falafel bar, Jewish apple cake

Dinner: Fresh fish, cous cous, bow tie pasta, mushroom medley with spinach,
broccoli, vegetable blend, chicken patty bar, blondies


1) Viruses force ITS to disable residential network temporarily

by Greg Leiserson
Gazette Reporter

Students on campus last week bore the brunt of an unpleasant surprise when the
number of attempted network connections spiked to 2600% above normal, courtesy
of the recent rash of computer viruses. Unprotected computer systems became
infected after connected to the network for as few as four seconds, and computer
users both on and off campus were unable to connect to the network because of
the high volume of activity.

Swarthmore Information Technology Services staff analyzed the network traffic,
determined that the primary cause of the increased traffic was related to activities
of infected computers, and performed a controlled shut down of dormitory networks
on Thursday. When it was observed that the controlled outage resulted in a level
of network activity comparable to normal, ITS decided to block all student computers
from connecting to the network on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Now, instead of simply allowing all students to connect to the network upon
returning to campus, each computer must be checked out by an ITS staff member
or dorm-tech who will in most cases upgrade the Windows operating system, install
or upgrade virus software, and then add the computers to a database which will
allow them to connect to the network. As of Monday afternoon, there were 879
dormitory computers patched, secured, and on the network.

Robin Jacobsen, Manager of Client Services and Special Projects for ITS could
not recall a similar episode in the past. Said Jacobsen, “The timing could
not have been worse for the release of these worms/viruses, when students are
returning to campus and we are busy preparing for the beginning of an academic
year. Students did not have the resources to update their systems or install
the latest versions of their virus definitions during the summer.”

Mark Dumic, Manager of Networking, Systems and Telecommunications, added that
in a few cases problems have arisen from mis-configured student devices on the
network. In some cases, this has caused other students in the same building
to be unable to connect the network. ITS staff members are scanning for problems
of this nature and will contact the owners of such mis-configured devices.

ITS staff members have also spent the last two weeks working to protect College-owned
computers from these same virus problems. They have worked to make the firewall,
core network electronics, and e-mail system block infections from entering the
campus network and to block high volume traffic from infected computers. Jacobsen
said she was hopeful that these steps will be effective against future outbreaks
as well, but noted that there are no guarantees since virus capabilities and
methods are always changing.


2) World news roundup

* Israel declared an “all-out war” on Hamas on Monday and said that
it would freeze all diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority unless
it took tangible steps to combat terrorist organizations. A government statement
quoted Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz as saying that the bus bombing on August
19 had “broken the track that was supposed to give the diplomatic process
a chance.” In an interview Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said
that military methods would not solve the region’s problems and a diplomatic
freeze could mean the permanent death of the road map. Earlier in the day an
Israeli military strike killed two Hamas members in Gaza City. According to
Dr. Mauia Abu Hasanin, director of the Shifa Hospital emergency room, 25 others
were wounded in the attack.

* President Bush touted his tax cut packages in a speech in Richfield, Ohio
on Monday. Recent polls have shown the economy to be Americans’ top-ranked concern,
and, in the past month, Democratic candidates for president have increased their
criticism of Bush’s handling of it. Bush attributed the economic downturn to
the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the many recent corporate scandals,
and a declining stock market, and said that his tax cut packages provided a
much needed stimulus. However, the unemployment rate is currently 6.2% the highest
level in 9 years.

* Reuters reported on Monday that the 2003 Global Women’s Survey by the cosmetics
company Avon identified Brazilian women as the vainest in the world. Half of
the women in the country said that they would be willing to get plastic surgery
to maintain their looks. 86% of the country’s women tried “extremely hard”
to improve their looks compared with 67% worldwide.


3) Campus events

There are no public campus events scheduled for today.



1) Upcoming contests

Women’s soccer at Philadelphia Biblical, 4:30 p.m.

Field hockey at Widener, 4:00 p.m.
Volleyball hosts Cedar Crest, 7:00 p.m.



“Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.”
–Lillian Hellman


Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette?
Got a news or sports tip for us?
Just want to tell us what you think?

Contact the staff at daily@swarthmore.edu

Managing Editors: Pei Pei Liu
News Editor: Alexis Reedy
Living & Arts Editor: Evelyn Khoo
Sports Editor Saurav Dhital
Compilation Editors Charlie Buffie
Greg Leiserson
Megan Mills
News Reporters:

Charlie Buffie
Mary Harrison
Sanggee Kim
Greg Leiserson
Megan Mills
Ken Patton
Miriam Perez
Aude Scheuer
Siyuan Xie
Roxanne Yaghoubi

Sports Writers: Jenna Adelberg
Sarah Hilding
Holice Kil
Photographers: Liz Bada
Miriam Perez
Christine Shin

Charlie Buffie
Greg Leiserson

World News: Greg Leiserson
Campus Sports: Greg Leiserson

The Daily Gazette is published Monday through Friday by an independent
group of Swarthmore College students. The Daily Gazette Web Site is updated
regularly, as news happens. Technical support from the Swarthmore College
Computer Society is gratefully acknowledged.

Our world news roundup is compiled daily, using a variety of sources, most
notably the Associated Press (
Reuters (www.reuters.com), CNN
(www.cnn.com), and The New York Times (www.nytimes.com).
Our campus sports
summaries are derived from information provided by the Swat Athletics Department

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This concludes today’s report.

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