• Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Archives

Critical ransomware attack targeted Windows computers

A serious virulent ransomware threat known as WannaCrypt0r/WannaCry has been affecting Windows computers on shared networks in at least 150 countries worldwide. Once one computer on a network is affected, the infection easily spreads to other Windows computers on the same network, easily shutting down entire government agencies and national infrastructure companies. More information on this attack

Ransomware is a malicious script or software that installs itself on your computer without you knowing. Once it’s installed and running, it will lock down your system and won’t allow you to access any files or programs on that computer. To unlock your system and regain access to the computer being held hostage, the lock screen informs you that you must pay for an unlock tool or decryption key from the hacker.

If your Windows computer is connected to a shared network, such as those at the University, Information Technology will automatically keep your Windows up-to-date so you don’t have to.

If you are running Windows and automatic updates are enabled you should be okay. If you don’t and haven’t updated recently you should update to the most recently released version immediately. Information Technology does manage automatic updates on many of our computers, but users also have to check their computers, especially with laptops that are taken home, in hostels and connect to other less well-managed networks. 

Keep an eye open for phishing e-mails requesting that you click on links and fill in your username and password. Beware sites that you visit that have suspicious popups that ask you to install software or “inform” you that your computer is infected with viruses.

Just because the mail looks like it has been sent from a university address or the site that you visit looks like a university or Internet banking website, don’t be fooled. Check the address and what you are being asked to do. If in doubt ask Information Technology, or your local “computer nerd”. They will be able to help and advise you.

More articles on ransomware.



Comments are closed.


© 2013-2020 Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author(s) and content contributor(s). The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by Stellenbosch University.