Ransomware Outbreak

What happened?

A large number of computers around the world have been infected with the WannaCry Ransomware. It has been seen in over 70 countries and impacted thousands of computers. 

What is the risk?

Ransomware encrypts the data on your computer, making it impossible to recover without the key. To get the key, you must pay a ransom. In this case, the attackers are demanding roughly $300 USD. The ransomware works by exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows, a vulnerability that has been patched since March 2017.  

What is Harvard doing?

Systems that are managed by Harvard should have already received this update which will prevent the ransomware from spreading across the network. If you are not receiving updates from Harvard, please contact your local support desk. 

What can I do?

Apply Updates! Enable automatic updates and reboot weekly. Systems that are recieving automatic updates should already be protected against this malware. If you aren't sure, visit https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3067639/how-to-get-an-update-through-windows-update 

Backup your Data! The risk of malware is losing your data. If you perform regular backups, you won't have to worry about ransomware. 

Further Reading

BBC News: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39901382

Krebs on Security: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/05/u-k-hospitals-hit-in-widespread-rans...

See also: Security Alerts