Software experts and those in the field of CAT coaching rubbished the claim, adding that viruses are the best excuse for anything that can go wrong with computer systems. ‘‘A virus attack is the standard excuse you give when things go wrong. Today we have learnt to deal with viruses. This is not a probable reason for what went wrong,’’ said Vijay Mukhi, technology expert and president of the Bombay Technology Club. ‘‘The computers on which CAT is being conducted should be completely disabled and then the CAT software installed on them, so that there is nothing else on those computers. In this case, how did the virus enter the system?’’ asks Mukhi.
‘‘Unless there was a world-wide outbreak of viruses, it’s hard to believe that viruses could have been the reason. The IIMs have a very secure system. Moreover, CAT is not being conducted on a public network,’’ said Sujit Bhattacharya, director, technology for Career Launcher, a CAT coaching class.
‘‘I am a systems major myself and I find viruses an extremely unlikely explanation for what happened. A virus cannot affect so many places at the same time, unless the exam was conducted via the internet and not through local servers. But the IIMs have categorically stated that they would conduct the test via local servers,’’ pointed out Arks Srinivas, president, TIME, a CAT coaching class.
‘‘We faced the same problems that are being faced by the IIMs, when we conducted our own mock CATs online. It took us some time to figure out what went wrong. The problem was that the server could not take the load, so we hired servers from Amazon for the test,’’ said Srinivas.
The company defended itself by saying it had put in place best plans. ‘‘Exhaustive plans were developed and put in place well in advance. Unfortunately, the particular viruses and malware that attacked the test delivery system were not detected by the anti-virus software at the testing centres. Candidates are our first and foremost priority,’’ the release quoted Ramesh Nava, Prometrics VP & general manager (Asia Pacific, Japan and Africa) as saying.