Iowa State University

ITInformation Technology

Compromised Systems

Compromised Systems

If your system has been compromised, somebody is probably using your machine--possibly to scan and find other machines to compromise. There is no automated method for cleaning up a compromised machine. Our recommendation:

  • Back up important personal files
  • Reformat the hard drive
  • Reinstall the operating system and software

Consulting assistance is available through the Solution Center, 515-294-4000.

Once your machine has been cleaned, send an email to with notification that the system has been cleaned. Don't forget to include the Internet address (also known as IP number); you can find this via the NetReg page at

The system needs to be left on so that ITS can verify that it is clean. ITS will only check after you have sent the email notification. Depending on the number of infected systems on campus, it can take from a few hours to a few days to get unblocked.

See Blocked Systems for more information.