Email viruses are usually disguised in the form of an attachment containing malicious code, which goes into action when opened. Infected emails not only come from unknown or suspicious sources, but may arrive via friends or colleagues if their machines have been attacked.

ITSC’s anti-virus protection system, first launched in 2001, helps to minimize virus infections and stop known viruses from spreading. On a daily average, the Center has found around 1% of incoming and outgoing email messages to the University’s system contain viruses and are rejected by HKUST email servers.

Incoming Mail
With email servers equipped to detect viruses, infected incoming messages carrying known viruses are automatically rejected and the sender notified (through a bounce back message).

Outgoing Mail
In some cases, users may not realize their computers have been infected,for example, if a machineisn’t equipped with up-to-date anti-virus tools. However, with, infected outgoing mail will not be delivered while a bounce back message will state the name of the virus found. Immediate action can then be taken to clean up the computer.

While anti-virus software on our email servers should detect most known viruses, there is always the risk of new viruses going undetected. Remain careful in handling email attachments and update the computer virus definition database regularly. For further details, visit Anti-Virus Protection.