IT Services Alerts - UPDATE: Protect your computer from the current Ransomware threat – Ransom Wannacry, May 15th

UPDATE: Protect your computer from the current Ransomware threat – Ransom Wannacry

As computer users we all need to be aware of a new ransomware infection Ransom-WannaCry which affects all Microsoft windows operating systems. Ransomware is malicious software which when installed on your PC will lock your PC so you cannot access your programs and files and can also encrypt your files. The software will then demand a ‘ransom’ or payment from you to get access to your programs or files again. 

How does the malicious software get onto your PC?  Generally it will be through an email and which will ask you to open an attached MS Word or Excel, PDF or picture file which is infected; or will provide a link to a website from which it downloads onto your computer.

New, copycat and more sophisticated versions of this ransomware can be expected to be created and more phishing emails to be sent so to make sure that your computer is protected please follow the advice below.  

To make sure that your College computer is protected please follow the advice below:

1. Exercise caution when browsing the Internet and opening emails, do not click on any unexpected pop-up windows or links as these can introduce the infection to your computer. Users should be particularly cautious if they receive any unexpected emails with Microsoft Office file attachments.

2. Make sure that your computer has the Microsoft software update which protects against this ransomware. If your computer is updated by IT Services you will have had the update installed on your computer in March. If your computer is not automatically updated by IT Services or if you are not sure you can install the update directly from Microsoft by running Windows Update.

Over the coming days, prior to connecting to the Trinity Network, we may have to ask students who use TCDconnect to re-scan their computer to ensure that the version of Windows has the latest security updates and that their anti-virus is also up to date.

3. As this threat is so serious Microsoft have also released software updates for unsupported operating systems including XP and Vista, if you are running any of these operating systems at work or at home you should install the software directly from the Microsoft website. 

4. Ensure that you are running McAfee anti-virus software and that it is up to date.

5. Ensure you have a recent backup of your important College files.

Note: If there are any computers in your area which are set up for use by students, lab work or guests you should check that they are protected as above also.

What should I do if I think that my computer is infected?

If you think that your computer has become infected you should immediately disconnect if from the College network, then turn it off and contact IT Services.

Further information on securing you College computing devices and data files is available on the IT Services Website