Lake Washington schools dealing with nasty computer virus

Lake Washington schools dealing with nasty computer virus »Play Video
REDMOND, Wash. -- The Lake Washington School District is dealing with a bad virus, but it's not the kind that any cold medicine will fix.

It's a computer virus that's spread to every one of the district's 50 schools.

"It is a really a little nasty virus that likes networks," said district spokeswoman Kathryn Reith.

It's known as the Goblin Virus that passes malware from computer to computer, just as a kid passes a cold around a school.

"We are working very hard on containment and once you have that containment then you have a shot at taking care of things," Reith said.

And there in lies the problem. This is the first year the district issued laptops to every high school and middle schooler to use at school, on field trips and take home. Throw in computers at the district office and elementary schools, that's a network of 25,000 computers.

Add bad web surfing habits, infected and infecting home networks -- it's a virus issue the district has never faced before and it's disrupted classes.

"We have loaners in some cases when a lot of computers are offline and teachers may be delaying what they are doing," Reith said.

Some 2,500 computers have been removed from service, staff has been added to quarantine the infection, and the district says antivirus software and firewalls were installed on every computer.

After a month of fighting the virus, they say the rate of infection has slowed to a trickle.

"We are going to figure out what happened here to beef up what we already have in the way of all those kinds of protections against the viruses," Reith said.

It's been tough lesson in computer management for staff, teachers, parents, not just students.