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06.18.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Media General stations hit with computer virus

At 3:30 p.m., on Tuesday, June 15, the Sasser worm virus spread through NBC affiliate KALB’s newsroom computer system, in Alexandria, LA, as the station prepared for its 5 p.m. newscast. The virus infected everything, including the news desk computers, the teleprompter station and the weather center.

Station personnel said its times like this that make you realize how much the business is now run by computers. "As you look around, we don't even have typewriters so we can't even really type much,” said David Luck, Newschannel 5 producer.

The Sasser worm affected not only KALB, but all of the 26 Media General stations (located throughout the southeast) linked to its company-wide computer system, to different degrees.

Brenda Kaiser, KALB’s business manager, said the virus was spread through an e-mal.

P>Online security consultants said there are several steps stations can take to protect against such viral intrusions. First, keep a firewall up and an antivirus program working. Make sure patches or latest versions of virus protection software have been downloaded and create a contingency plan if computers do go down.

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