Share this article Share A virus known as the “Windows Defender Antivirus” has been causing some students’ computers to malfunction, causing them to lose the ability to log in to websites and access online services.
The malware has infected a small number of Windows computers, causing the computers to crash or slow down, according to a blog post by the school’s Office of Information Technology.
The post also notes that Windows XP is still the default operating system for students.
The malware is believed to have been introduced by a person who works for Microsoft.
The program, known as Microsoft Defender Antiva, detects and blocks malware before it’s sent to users, according the blog post.
It’s a tool that detects threats before they’re transmitted to their targets, said Steve Martin, a spokesperson for Microsoft Education.
“While the current version of the program doesn’t contain all of the details that we’ve shared in the past, we do know it detects and prevents malware and malicious code before it can be delivered to the target system,” Martin wrote in an email.
“We know this particular variant of this malware is highly sophisticated and has been in the wild for months, but it was still able to infect a handful of students, with some reports indicating that it infected at least one student multiple times in a single session,” he continued.
Microsoft has not confirmed whether the malware was delivered to a specific student or to others who may have had it on their computers.
The university said it has been working to isolate students with the virus, and the students were notified on Tuesday.
The virus is not spread through the Internet and is not transmitted via email, so it is not visible to others on the Internet.
Students with the malware were alerted by email, the school said.
Martin said it’s unclear if Microsoft will address the problem or continue to offer the program, which is part of the company’s global security and privacy suite.
Microsoft said the virus was discovered in the fall of last year, and it’s been on the school system since May.
Martin told Mashable that Microsoft is investigating the possibility that students were infected before they were aware of the problem.
“Our investigation is ongoing, and we’re working to identify the specific students impacted,” Martin said.
Microsoft also released an update on Tuesday that adds more protection to the program that it said was installed to “help mitigate the risk of malicious software being installed on a Windows computer or other networked device.”
Microsoft said it will continue to update the program as more information becomes available.