August 25, 2003 - Posted at: 6:11 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, Ark. -- A number of Arkansas State University students started the semester with a check of their email, only to find that the "Sobig" Internet worm was checking in on them.
According to Todd Reed, an Information Technology specialist at ASU, a virus' notoriety is determined by how many people it affects.
"There's at least one virus everyday that's created," said Reed.
American law enforcement are closing in on the author of the latest Internet threat. Sobig.F was initially discovered on a pornographic message board on Usenet. The FBI believes it was possibly started by a disgruntled employee.
"A user opens the attachment, and automatically the virus initiates itself," said Reed. "The virus starts coding the background, and starts sending itself to other users in their address book."
It's estimated that one million computers worldwide have been affected by the Sobig virus, but computer experts say you can eliminate the virus with one click of a button.
"Students can prepare themselves for this, and any virus for that matter that's spread in the future is to make sure their windows is up to date, and they can do that by going to Microsoft.com," said Reed. "They also need to have a good anti-virus program, along with up to date anti-virus definition."