University Technology’s ([U]Tech) Information Security Office wants to draw your attention to an increased threat from malware, as cited in the media very recently—specifically ransomware that encrypts files and demands a ransom be paid for their release. More generally, the term “malware” is used to refer to a type of program designed to infect computers and devices. Once installed, malware allows cyber-attackers to spy on your online activities, steal passwords, delete or encrypt files, or use your system to attack others.
Although most of the recent reporting has to do with threats to hospitals and health care systems, CWRU is also vulnerable to this type of attack.
[U]Tech offers the following tips to avoid malware and enjoy safe computing and internet use:
- Do not open email attachments that are not expected or that are from unknown senders. This is a common way that malware is spread.
- Do not click on links in emails unless the message was expected and from a known sender. This is a common way that malware is spread.
- Do not plug untrusted USB drives or other external media into computers or devices. This is another common way that malware is spread.
- Never provide your password to anyone or in any online form except when logging in to CWRU single sign-on.
- Use anti-virus software and keep it updated.
- Keep operating systems updated and patched. This includes Windows, OSX and Linux on computers as well as iOS and Android on phones.
- Install software and apps only from trusted sites.
- Never pay a ransom to unlock encrypted files.
- If you believe your computer has been infected, don’t try to fix it yourself—report it immediately.
- Report incidents, even suspicions of malware or hacking, to the [U]Tech Service Desk at email@example.com, 216.368.HELP (4357) or case.edu/utech/help.