Tulane security analysts are noting an increase in ransomware phishing attempts. Ransomware is malware that hackers use to extort money from victims by encrypting their files.
How Ransomware works
Certain ransomware no longer requires user interaction or clicks. However, most ransomware happens when a victim is tricked the into clicking a malicious link which places malware on the user’s device. This malware enables the encryption process to proceed against the user’s data. Once encryption is complete, victims are provided a window of time in which they must pay the attacker to receive the key needed to decrypt their files and return access.
How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware
- Update your computer Operating System and applications (automatically or weekly).
- Make certain you regularly back up your system - it may be your only way to recover from ransomware. You can ignore an attacker’s ransomware demands by simply restoring your device to an earlier, uninfected version of your system.
- Keep Trend Micro OfficeScan antivirus up to date. OfficeScan identifies ransomware signatures and prevents installation on your system. Visit http://tulane.e-academy.com to get your free copy.
- Install the OpenDNS roaming client. OpenDNS protects your computer when you are away from the Tulane network and is free to Tulane students, faculty and staff. Visit http://tulane.e-academy.com to download the latest version.
If you believe your computer has been infected with ransomware:
- Immediately disconnect your system from the wireless or wired network. Ransomware can travel over the network and infect others.
- Immediately disconnect your system from any external storage.
- Contact Information Security at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide assistance.
Want to learn about ransomware in an interactive way? Tulane affiliates may take our training Protecting Against Ransomware at https://tulane.bridgeapp.com/learner/courses/2fa3f4fe/enroll