This week, a new outbreak of ransomware called Petya/NotPetya was released, causing chaos and infecting computer systems worldwide. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files on a computer and holds information hostage in an attempt to extort payment. It typically relies on an individual to open an email with a malicious attachment or link to instigate the infection process.
Like the WannaCry ransomware outbreak in May, Petya contains elements not normally found in ransomware, enabling it to spread quickly among vulnerable computers on the same network once one has become infected. ITS continuously monitors and scans the campus network and University-managed computers to ensure that the latest threats are unable to infiltrate our systems.
You can help ensure that campus and your personal information remains protected by:
- Never opening suspicious attachments or links you receive in unknown emails.
- Forwarding any suspicious emails to email@example.com.
- Making sure you have downloaded and installed the latest version of the Operating System and software on your personally-owned computers.
Information security is a shared responsibility. By being aware of risks, and being careful in your computing practices, you help protect yourself and your colleagues.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Support Center at 515-271-3001.
—Peter Lundstedt, Information Security Manager