At universities we like to think that people should know better. However, scammers have found that hospitals, universities, and other organizations filled with smart people are still vulnerable to attack. Here’s a very recent example of a university getting nailed by “ransomware“:

This ransomware didn’t just attack an individual desktop computer or two. Yeah, Calgary paid CDN$20,000 in ransom, and will now be spending hundreds of hours of staff time to fix the problems caused by the malware.

If you do an internet search for “hospital ransomware attack” you’ll see that hospitals are getting hit more often than universities (so far). But the trend is increasing. Any institution in which thousands of people use technology tools is vulnerable to these attacks.

Ransomware usually gets into an institution’s system when one person clicks a link to download a malicious piece of software. Some of these attacks start with one or two people surrendering their account info in a phishing scam. But it’s usually the “fool-the-reader-into-downloading-the-attachment” trick.

We’ve posted about this kind of threat earlier this year. The bottom line is that we all need to be careful about downloading files and email attachments. If you receive an unexpected attachment from an unknown source, delete it. If you receive an unexpected attachment allegedly from a person or organization you know, contact them before you download any attachments.

At UD, we urge employees to complete their Secure UD Training to make sure that our faculty and staff are better prepared against scams like this one. Help protect the University’s IT resources by making yourself more cyber aware.

Think B4 U Click!