Computer Virus Hits WSAZ with Force

A vulnerability in Microsoft Windows operating system apparently allowed a potent virus to penetrate the computer systems at WSAZ.

It happened early Saturday morning just before "NewsChannel 3 Sunrise" went on the air at 6am.

According to information technology (IT) professionals at WSAZ, it appears a "zero day attack" is the source of the problems, affecting the station's critical systems.

According to Wikipedia, a zero day attack is "a computer threat that exposes undisclosed or unpatched computer application vulnerabilities. Zero-day attacks can be considered extremely dangerous because they take advantage of computer security holes for which no solution is currently available."

The systems affected include the station's graphics, closed captioning, and many other computer applications that help bring a newscast to air. Despite these hurdles, WSAZ still aired newscasts as scheduled Saturday at 6am and 6pm, although the latter was shortened from 30 to 18 minutes.

The vulnerability was announced on Wednesday, March 28. According to Microsoft, a "hole" in certain versions of Microsoft Windows could allow an attacker to remotely run programs on some computers if the user accesses certain websites that contain malicious code.

Right now, Microsoft has not released a fix for the vulnerability in its software.

The same attack has also caused significant issues at other television stations owned by WSAZ's parent company, Gray Television. A computer security website reports that this system flaw has reached "highly severe" status.

Despite the system problems, WSAZ will continue to bring you up-to-date, live newscasts.

Your computer could also be at risk.
Click here to read the security bulletin from Microsoft.
Click here for more information.

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