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Beware of Ransomware

Icon of a laptop with a padlock

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that is currently in circulation worldwide, where cyber criminals aim to trick their targets into downloading malicious software on their computers in order to encrypt their files or lock them out of their devices. If you fall victim, the cyber criminal demands you to pay a ransom in order to recover your files and/or regain access to your device.

Ransomware is commonly spread via fraudulent emails, either as an infected attachment or a link to the cyber criminal’s website.

Example of Ransomware

IT Services have been warned of a significant increase in email traffic containing the Avaddon ransomware, a malware that is being spread through emails with a subject line such as “Your new photo?” or “Do you like my photo?” with an attachment in format. This attachment is trying to fool the target into thinking it contains an image file, when in reality it contains a Javascript file which when opened launches a command to download the Avaddon ransomware to your computer. Avaddon will then lock all your files followed by a demand to pay a ransom to unlock them. No cases of the Avaddon ransomware have been discovered in Trinity but we request that staff and students remain vigilant.

What should I do if I receive this email?

Please delete this email should you receive it and report it to the IT Service Desk at the earliest opportunity.

How can I protect myself against ransomware?

  1. Make sure you have anti-virus software installed on your devices and ensure they are running up-to-date virus definitions.
  2. Stay current on software security updates for your devices.
  3. Do not download or open files from unsolicited emails. If you receive an email with attachments you were not expecting, check with the sender before acting on the email.
  4. Backup your data, files and devices regularly – this will help you recover the latest version of any lost or damaged data should you fall victim to ransomware.
  5. Remain vigilant and report any unusual activity to the IT Service Desk.

Further information

Visit the IT Services website if you would like to know more about ransomware.

Watch the video below for an overview of ransomware:

Click to view video on ransomware