OIT alerted University network users Monday about a virus outbreak, which may compromise infected computers and overload the University's mail server.
Dan Oberst, director of OIT's Enterprise Infrastructure Services, said about 250 computers across campus have been infected.
Compromised computers spread the infection by sending out mass emails, which contain links to the virus.
OIT has been working to stop the infection, which was detected around 3:00 p.m. on Monday.
To stop the virus' spread and prevent the server from overloading, OIT began blocking spam.
"We're blocking mail from being sent from [infected] machines if it has critical telltale characteristics," Oberst said, which may include strings of characters commonly found in spam emails.
Infected emails include text saying, "Hi! I am looking for new friends. I am from Miami, FL. You can see my homepage with my last webcam photos!" Others mention accounts with eBay, PayPal, Amazon or CitiBank, according to the OIT Help Desk website.
But blocking spam emails is just "attacking the symptom," Oberst said. "We need to get to [infected] machines and make sure we've fixed them," he added.
Oberst said OIT also cut off infected machines from the network and is contacting antivirus software providers to obtain a patch to protect non-infected computers.
"We will be preparing some set of instructions to help folks the folks that are infected and those who are not infected," Oberst said.
OIT recommends that users visit the Help Desk website — helpdesk.princeton.edu — for more information on the virus and exercise caution when opening suspicious email.
"The advice now is not to click on any links and to stay away from websites you wouldn't normally go to," Oberst said.
Some students are also concerned about the outbreak.
"I'm worried about [the virus] in that I don't know what this type of stuff is going to do to my computer," Jason Herron '07 said.
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