IT Security Week | Ransomware - Will your University Data be held to Ransom?
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is malicious software which when installed on your PC can prevent you from using your PC properly. Sometimes the ransomware locks your PC so you cannot access your programs and files but ransomware can also encrypt files on your PC. The software will then demand a ‘ransom’ or payment from you to get access to your programs or files again.
Ransomware mostly affects PC users, though it is also a growing risk on Macs.
How could my PC become infected by Ransomware?
Ransomware like general viruses can infect your PC from many sources including:
- Malicious spam emails and infected email attachments
- Unsafe, suspicious, or compromised websites
- Malicious links in emails or on social media Facebook, Twitter etc.
What does a Ransomware infection look like?
If your PC is infected you will see a message like the one below which is generated by the CBTLocker infection.
How can I best protect myself?
- Exercise caution when browsing the Internet and reading email, never click on a link on a webpage or in an email unless you trust the page or email sender.
- Make sure your PC has up-to-date anti-virus installed, this is very important as anti-virus software can detect ransomware accessing your PC and prevent it from getting installed. Follow our step-by-step guides for anti-virus software on PC and Mac.
- Back-up your files regularly - If your PC becomes infected there is no guarantee that you can recover your files even if you pay the requested ‘ransom’ so the best protection for your files is to have a backup held safely on other media or in your Office365 OneDrive storage. OneDrive for business can assist you in backing up everyday files.
What should I do if I think I have been affected?
If you think your PC may have become infected:
- Disconnect your PC from the College network - this will prevent your computer form infecting others on the network
- Contact the Service desk - The Service desk can advise you on your options and help you to get back up and running again.