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Large Ransomware Attack Against Individuals and Companies Across the Globe

May 16, 2017

On Friday May 12, a large-scale ransomware attack was launched, affecting individuals and companies all over the world. This attack takes advantage of unpatched computer systems and uses an exploit to lock computer files, making them inaccessible until a the victims pay ransom to the attackers.

Attacks like this have become common in the past few years, however this one was especially concerning due to a unique viral feature. This virus used a piece of malicious software created by the NSA to spread inside a computer network once one computer was infected, overwhelming any defenses put in place to try to slow its spread.

This exploit, relies on individuals and organizations not patching their computers. Microsoft issued a fix for most platforms in March but many never applied it. ITS has confirmed that nearly all Drake-owned computers have received this patch and are protected, and is working to patch the few that remain. No trace of this virus has been found on University systems.

If you have been putting off installing updates on your personal computer or other devices, now is the perfect time to make sure it you’re up to date and protected. Both Apple and Microsoft have instructions on how to make these updates on their websites.

If you have any questions or concerns about this ransomware attack, or have any question about information security, please email informationsecurity@drake.edu.