A computer virus has attacked more than 100 computer terminals at Spokane Falls Community College and forced the cancellation of some classes, a school official said Saturday.
The virus, dubbed “NATAS,” or “Satan” spelled backward, took hold more than a week ago and quickly spread throughout the college’s computer network, said Tony Bezilla, the campus computer services director.
“This is one of the more malicious viruses that I’ve seen,” Bezilla said. “This virus really goes out and attacks your hard drive.”
Computer viruses commonly are initiated by computer “hackers” who write programs that can damage or destroy data in other computers. The virulent programs can spread throughout computer networks from terminal to terminal.
College officials are unsure how the “NATAS” virus originated but were able to prevent it from spreading throughout the entire campus computer network, Bezilla said. All the terminals rendered inoperable by the virus are expected to be functional by Monday.
The virus spread as many students were completing work for winter quarter final exams.