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Ransomware Awareness

In an effort to further enhance your cyber defenses, we want to highlight a common cyber-attack that everyone should be aware of – ransomware.

Ransomware is increasingly being used by hackers to extort money from companies and people. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that takes over your computer and prevents you from accessing files until you pay a ransom.

Although we maintain controls to help protect CSU networks and computers from this type of attack, with the quickly changing attack scenarios we rely on you to be our first line of defense. Here are some simple things you can do to help CSU avoid a ransomware/malware attack:

Think Before You Click

The most common way ransomware enters networks is through email. Often, scammers will include malicious links or attachments in emails that look harmless. To avoid this trap, please observe the following email best practices:

  1. Do not click on links or attachments from senders that you do not recognize. Be especially wary of .zip or other compressed or executable file types.
  2. Do not provide sensitive personal information (like usernames and passwords) over email.
  3. Watch for email senders that use suspicious or misleading domain names.
  4. If you can’t tell if an email is legitimate or not, please call 570.585.9259 or forward the email to the IT department at helpdesk@clarkssummitu.edu. Please be sure the subject reads something like "POTENTIAL RANSOMEWARE EMAIL”.
  5. Be especially cautious when opening attachments or clicking links if you receive an email containing a warning banner indicating that it originated from an external source.

If Something Seems Wrong, Notify IT

If your computer is infected with ransomware, you will typically be locked out of all programs and a “ransom screen” will appear. In the unfortunate event that you click a link or attachment that you suspect is malware or ransomware, please notify IT immediately.

To contact IT, please call 570.585.9259. If no one answers leave a voicemail and we will respond as soon as possible. Time is very crucial in resolving an infection of this type.

Be advised that the IT can only advise how to remedy an issue on your personal computer.

This article drafted using a free template from Focal Point.