Over the last 48 hours, security researchers have discovered a particularly malicious strain of malware targeting Microsoft Windows computers worldwide. The ransomware is known to lock all files on a victim’s computer and network drive(s) and then demand a significant monetary payment in order to unlock them. Infections have so far been discovered in almost 100 countries worldwide and have targeted individuals, corporations and other universities.
Provost IT is taking immediate steps to make sure our infrastructure and supported computers are safe from this attack. It is therefore very important to ensure that any Windows computers you use are kept up-to-date in order to receive the necessary security patches to defend against this malware. Provost IT-supported computers should receive such updates automatically as long as they are powered on and connected to the USC network. Antivirus software Provost IT installs should automatically contain such attacks. You may also take steps to safeguard your personal computer(s) by installing the latest Microsoft Updates as well as an antimalware program such as Malwarebytes or Sophos.
Analysis suggests that this malware most frequently spreads via PDF documents sent within emails to victims. Therefore, please exercise additional caution when opening or receiving any attachment sent to you via email. If you are unsure of the sender or are not expecting a document that was sent to you, simply delete it or contact us through the link below.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Provost IT. Thank you.