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.

Graduate Email Automatically Transitions to Alumni System

This means:

  • Your xxxxx@students.ecu.edu email address becomes xxxxx@ecualumni.ecu.edu.
  • You keep all messages in your student email account at the time it’s switched over to an alumni email account.
  • You receive any email sent to your previous xxxxx@ecu.edu email address, even after graduation, because it is automatically delivered to your new xxxxx@ecualumni.ecu.edu address. After graduation, you will no longer be able to SEND from your xxxxx@students.ecu.edu email address.
  • You log in to your new alumni xxxxx@ecualumni.ecu.edu email account using the most recent PirateID/passphrase you used as an enrolled student.
  • Your new ECU alumni email account will have your online mailbox and OneDrive file storage; the Office suite of software (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) you had as a student is no longer available (not part of the alumni subscription). OneDrive documents can be edited through Web apps (a browser); documents saved to your computer become “read only.”
  • The only change you need to make is to update your mobile device account. YOU WILL RECEIVE A NOTIFICATION FROM ECU WHEN YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS CHANGE.

Wireless Updates Offer Continued Improvements

Effective Monday, May 8, 2017, the ecu-onboard and Pirates networks will be decommissioned and replaced with the ecu-wifi wireless network.

Similar to Pirates, the ecu-wifi network is an open, non-secure network that allows on-camps users to:

  • Onboard to eduroam. The eduroam network service is the primary network for all ECU users. Authentication is done on initial setup with wireless access good for four years wherever eduroam is a service, including several other UNC campuses. There is no log on posturing process necessary.The Pirates wireless network will be turned off beginning Monday, May 8, and users still connected through Pirates should make the switch to eduroam. New and existing staff and students can pre-enroll their Android, iOS, Chromebook, Windows or Apple wireless device from anywhere on or off campus before arrival. Visit the network connect home page for more information and specific device instructions.
  • Connect internet-ready devices. Smart TVs and other multimedia devices not able to connect through eduroam can connect to the internet through ecu-wifi; however, users must authenticate each time they log on to the network.To avoid the logon process each time, users can register their device through the My Devices Portal. Find step-by-step instructions on the eduroam website.

If you have questions or require assistance connecting to the ECU network, please call the IT Help Desk, 252.328.9866 | 800.340.7081.

On-campus students can also take advantage of the walk-in help from any Pirate Techs Student Computing Support Center. Find the nearest campus Pirate Techs location.