Macs and Windows Vulnerable to Ransomware

Infected ECU computers will be wiped

Unless you’ve been stranded on a desert island for the last few weeks, you know that ransomware is a global threat affecting vulnerable Windows and Mac computers. Yes, even the Macintosh OS can be infected by this insidious malware that locks your system, encrypts your data and infects the network to which you are connected. While this threat may seem scary and overwhelming, there are ways to circumvent being a victim. Read on to get started.

How Does Ransomware Work?

The user clicks on a malicious link or document that triggers the ransomware code. If the computer’s software is unpatched and unprotected, the worm finds its way in and looks for files to encrypt. After encrypting your files, it then moves on to the network to find other Mac or Windows targets.

If the ransomware cannot encrypt anything or access the network, it can go dormant until triggered.

Even if you pay the ransom, and the files are decrypted, the thieves may have left a way to reinfect your system at a later date in order to extort more money from you.

What Happens if Your ECU Computer Becomes Infected?

If your ECU computer becomes infected with ransomware, ITCS cannot recover your data. The hard drive will be wiped and all data will be lost.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Following these tips for your ECU or personal computer will go a long way toward protecting your system from ransomware.

  1. Do not store ECU data on your computer.
  2. Create and manage a backup for data that is stored on the system.
  3. Do not open spam emails or emails from unknown senders.
  4. Do not download or open attachments from suspicious emails.
  5. Do not click links in suspicious emails.
  6. Keep your operating system up to date.
  7. Keep Symantec EndPoint Protection up to date. It is also available for your personal computer from the ECU Download Center.
  8. Turn off administrative privileges on your computer account. Use a separate account with higher level privileges if needed.
  9. Remove outdated plugins in your web browsers.

While not completely fool-proof, these actions go a long way toward keeping your data safe from hackers.

Need more help or have questions? Contact the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 | 800.340.7081.