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IIM-A names two viruses that caused CAT chaos

By SiliconIndia   |    10 Comments
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Ahmedabad: The trouble with the computer-aided CAT exam was diagnosed as 'Conflicer' and 'W32 Nimda', the two viruses that attacked the system display of the test, causing it to slow it down. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) said that they empathize with the aspirants who could not take the computerized Common Admission Test (CAT) because of technical problems and that they would be given a second chance soon.

Efforts are now on to quarantine the systems from these viruses to ensure smooth conduct in the remaining days. Tests at 47 labs were called off on the first two days and 33 labs on Monday, on account of this problem affecting nearly 8,000 aspirants, reports TNN.

Samir Barua, Director of IIM-A, which is the nodal agency for conducting CAT in the country, said, "Though there were precautions taken, with so much of technology involved, it is hard to keep the system foolproof. The 47 centres which reported problems on the first day, were kept shut on the second day so that they could be checked. On the third day, 33 were shut, which include some new centres also."

"All efforts are right now diverted to further isolate and quarantine the individual servers, increase virus protection and control accessibility so that the test can be conducted smoothly on the remaining days. These security measures are being taken not only in the centres that have experienced problems but all the others that were operating smoothly," added Barua.

Charles Karnan, COO, Prometric, the U.S. agency given the contract for CAT 2009 along with NIIT, said, "All the students who have suffered any difficulty in the taking the test will be accommodated, as all the centres were asked to keep a buffer in case of any such problem, right in the beginning. Of the 8,000 odd candidates that have faced problem, 62 percent have been rescheduled. This is the biggest test we have conducted. Usually these many students take tests like GRE, GMAT or Toefl across the year, but here we had to complete the process in 10 days.".

Students facing problems at individual levels, have been asked to report to the Candidates Care Service at each centre. "Once their credentials are confirmed, they will be given a new test date and slot when they can appear for the test," Satish Deodhar, Convenor, CAT Centre said. When asked how the three centres at Ahmedabad were glitch-free, he said, "The centres here were able to keep their servers quarantined better."

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Reader's comments(10)
1: Good excuse. What about the cases when computers were not assigned against the candidtae roll number. When candidate goes to center he is said that there is printing mistake in your admit card and would be provided another PC in few hours. Not to admit the mistake and not to re-schedule the exam for such candidates. What a pity.
Will the God absolve Prometric for such excuses and for playing with the sentiments of candidates.
I personally prepared for CAT through out the year but was forced to take CAT after 5 hours of scheduled time, without heaving break fast, on the shake of my future threat.
God see them.
Posted by:Pradeep - 11 Dec, 2009
2: This shows how badly outdated are our socalled computer GEEKS. conflicker worm is known to every computer user.
Posted by:captainjohann samuhanand - 09 Dec, 2009
3: Nice try, this excuse would probably fool the general non-tech-savvy public at large, but really I expected the likes of the IIM-s to come up with a better damage control strategy.

But take this article for instance, if people continue to obsess about viruses and oooh the so-impressive-sounding quarantining of sytems - instead of asking the tough questions as to why there was no dry-run conducted, and whether there were scaling problems in the architecture, this "story" serves the purpose.

Come on, these are not even *new* viruses.

Posted by:Super Dude - 01 Dec, 2009
4: Great idea... i dont have a presentation ready for tomorrow's sales pitch. i know what to say: "virus on pc" and blame poor sysadmin for not doing its job.
Posted by:salesGuru - 01 Dec, 2009
5: They could have formatted the system and install the OS again 2 to 3 days before the exams.

Or the "Prometric: should have used an Linux Software, as Linux doesn't have any history of virus attacks.
Posted by:Pravardhan - 01 Dec, 2009
6: How do they come up with such am excuse? What sort of assurances they can give for the candidates those who have attempted the exam ( how do you ensure the answers submitted?)

This is not the first time, somebody is conducting online exams. Virus are not new to Online activities and that is being the case, it is quite surprising that the CAT team fail to consider all the threat areas and put security in place.
Posted by:Sree - 30 Nov, 2009
7: What a pity? Can't they even patch the systems properly? w32.Downadup/Conficker (not conflicer) is caused by missing MS0867 patch and it was last year that virus started...Nimda was ages back...High time people start to pay attention to basics of computing inclusive of security, which isn't geek science.

some simple steps to select Antivirus:

Posted by:prasanna - 30 Nov, 2009
8: virus attack or imperfact load testing of servers..?something is fishing...
Posted by:varish - 30 Nov, 2009
I heard that this company Prometric was selling its data to some tutorial firms who in turn are connected to IIMs faculty.
captainjohann samuhanand Replied to: varish - 09 Dec, 2009
10: Song of the Season: Film Dilli Ka Thug Kishore Kumar Song: C A T CAT maane Billie. R A T RAT maane Chooha. G O O D GOOD maane Acha. B I T S A T BITSAT maane BITS Pilani Acha Online Exam
Posted by:BR Natarajan - 30 Nov, 2009