A computer virus called ‘Raila Odinga’ is bad news in Malawi’s main commercial city of Blantyre as it has caused huge damages. The virus according to experts is believed to be a complicated group of deadly computer worms, Trojans, spywares and ad wares operating together as a single entity.
The worst thing is that it is killing flash disks if left for sometime and the only remedy is to format the USB stick once infected.
The virus is believed t o have originated from Malawi University Polytechnic campus in the city but the college’s IT students have since dispelled this.
Clocking four months now, eating up computers, flash disks and many other Information Technology (IT) storage materials has been described by local experts as the worst in Malawi’s computer history.
So far experts have failed to find its solution apart from deleting and formatting all infected computers.
In the whole four months the virus, is believed to have resisted any remedy and seems mutating and growing from strength to strength as it gets transmitted across.
Callistus Perete Director of XP solutions in Blantyre who owns internet café and separate IT Software Company said he has never met such a virus in his ten years of IT experience. Perete who is also a Software programmer said he is defeated.
“After my computer got infected, I tried all sorts of scanning, I used all anti viruses in town, even downloaded latest versions of anti viruses but all failed. I invited colleagues to assist me they all failed to factorize this virus.
“As days went by all my computers could not open external drivers like flashes, floppy or CD’s, they started showing dangerous command prompts until when I made a painful decision to forgo all my data, delete and format my PC’s,” he said.
He said it took him five days to do away with the virus and during that time his business was off. He estimated that he lost close to US$1000 during the time.
A fourth year IT student at Polytechnic Aonenji Jere corroborated the fears but dispelled the news that the virus might have been sourced from his college.
“I saw formation of the virus, there is a figure 89 it’s an American website. I suspect the man who first downloaded the virus was viewing this site together with other news websites.
“I suspect after viewing 89, he did not realize that he had downloaded dangerous viruses and he went on to read news stories particularly about Raila Odinga and as a result the virus packed itself in Raila Odinga text, thus carrying that name, that is what normally happens with viruses,” he said.
Jere said: “Raila Odinga has no cure and has no anti virus, this every one must know.”
“It is not true that it was downloaded here, what I can affirm is that, the virus is a group of dangerous ad wares, Trojans and worms working together terrorizing computers, I think some one unknowingly downloaded it from a site with identification 89,” he said.
And Director Tech Solutions of Blessings Chipande, a British training computer specialist advises people to be alert because the virus is fast becoming a nuisance.
He advises computer owners to continuously back up their data and when they are infected they should not delay to format their PC’s.
Currently damage caused by Odinga virus is not known in financial terms