Through news agencies and social media, many of you are aware of the current cyber attack, Petya, which started in Europe and continues to spread across the globe, including the U.S. This attack is similar to the devastating attack on organizations around the globe in May 2017. OIT is keeping an eye on developments in this latest attack and will keep you informed if and when the situation changes.
In the meantime, here are four things you can do immediately to lower the chance you will be impacted by this latest global threat.
1. Ensure all updates are applied on your computer. This includes Operating Systems (Windows, MacOS, others), applications (MS Office is the most common). Your SRSU computer is updated automatically each time Microsoft releases an update but you may want to check that on occasion.
2. Don’t click on email messages and attachments you are not expecting or seem unusual. If you receive something that doesn’t look right, assume it is not. Contact the person that supposedly sent it and verify the message or attachment(s) are valid. A 60-second phone call may save many months or years of work.
3. Ensure your data is backed up to a location that is not accessible by a virus or ransomware attack. While not the first item on this list, this may be one of the most important and the one for which all the responsibility falls to you. If you are not sure your hard drive is being backed up, assume that it is not. SRSU OIT does not provide backups for your SRSU supplied desktop computer. For some of you, backups are to an external hard drive. While a worthy solution, even external hard drives fail from time to time or can be corrupted if left plugged into an infected machine. OIT recommends the use of Office 365 to store all your documents.
4. Never download software not authorized by OIT. The beginnings of this latest threat come from tax accounting software. Once it gets inside an organization, it can spread from machine to machine if those machines are vulnerable to the threat.
OIT continues to monitor any situation that heighten the risk of your computer and data files being compromised. We will take appropriate actions as we see fit.
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Here are links if you are interested in learning more about this cyber attack:
Read Greg Freidline’s blog post here. https://blogs.sulross.edu/gfreidline/2017/06/28/block-petya-virus-on-a-computer/ WARNING: Lots of geek-speak here!
Here is an excerpt from NPR talking about the Petya virus: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/28/534679950/petya-ransomware-hits-at-least-65-countries-microsoft-traces-it-to-tax-software.