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Security Alert: Protect Windows computers against ransomware

2017-05-15 16:03:00
Brief Description:
WannaCry ransomware is spreading rapidly across the world. Although it hasn’t been detected Cornell yet, the IT Security Office strongly urges you to take steps NOW to protect Windows computers.
Current Status:
Services Affected:
Not Applicable
Full Description:
Since May 12, the WannaCry ransomware* has infected over 200,000 Windows computers in at least 150 countries. Although this particular ransomware hasn’t been detected at Cornell yet, the IT Security Office strongly urges you to:

A) Continue to be extremely careful about attachments in email
- If you weren’t expecting an attachment, contact the person to ask about it.
- If you get a Microsoft prompt asking if you want to run a macro, click “no” unless you’re certain it’s a safe file.

B) Avoid clicking links if you aren’t familiar with the website name.

C) Take three steps to make sure your Windows computers at work and at home are protected. Take the time NOW — it will be far easier and faster than recovering from a ransomware infection.

(1) Run Windows Update.
- For Cornell-owned computers, ask the IT or computer support staff in your college, unit, or department if you don’t typically maintain your own computer. Note that some areas use Cornell’s managed desktop service (Endpoint Management Tools), and it has the latest patches.

(2) Back up your files with an automated backup system.
- Cornell-owned computers can be subscribed to the university’s EZ-Backup service.

(3) Update your antivirus software and do a scan to see if any viruses are detected.

* Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts files on a computer, so you can’t access them unless you pay the ransom (or can retrieve copies from backup). It’s becoming one of the most popular and lucrative ways to attack computers.