Ransomware Alert

IT Services urging campus to be lookout for suspicious emails

IT Services is advising the campus community to be extra cautious and not open any emails or attachments that are unexpected, unfamiliar or suspicious in nature.  If you receive such a message, please delete it and open a ticket with the ServiceDesk by visiting http://www.uwindsor.ca/itshelp

Several organizations around the world—including Britain’s National Health Service—have been affected by a global ransomware attack, dubbed WannaCry.  It has been reported that some of the related emails related to this attack have subject lines containing Copy_[with Random Numbers], Document_[with Random Numbers], Scan_[with Random Numbers], File_[with Random Numbers], and PDF_[with Random Numbers]. 

While UWindsor currently has not seen any evidence of this attack on its networks, IT Services is asking all campus members to be vigilant and to report any suspicious emails in order to ensure that University systems remain secure.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software cyber-criminals use to extort money and/or information.

Ransomware attacks most commonly occur through email (a “phishing” email) where the attacker sends an infected file or link. Clicking on the file or link activates malicious software that encrypts data on your hard drive. It will also attempt to encrypt data on any network folder you are connected to at the time of infection. Once your files are encrypted, a screen or web page will show up containing instructions on how to pay the cyber-criminal to decrypt your data.