Infected emails or websites that can lead to CryptoLocker

photo depicting CryptoLocker ransomware virusWhile we are working from home and social distancing, attackers are working hard to take advantage of the current pandemic. The most common and destructive threat today is ransomware, a kind of malware virus – such as CryptoLocker – that infects your computer and then searches for files to encrypt. Essentially, this malware finds your personal files and makes them unreadable by encrypting them, then demands payment for the decryption key.

Once the virus encrypts shared files on the initial workstation, the software then targets data on other workstations and servers. This causes the files on your desktop or laptop, as well as all other files in shared folders, to become inaccessible to you and anyone else.

Therefore, to continue working safely, please follow the guidelines and best practices listed below. You will protect yourself and all the valuable data of UA Little Rock and other members of our community, faculty, staff, students.

  • DO NOT CLICK LINKS OR OPEN ATTACHMENTS IN EMAIL. If the email looks slightly suspicious to you, it probably is suspicious.  
  • Verify that emails originated from actual UA Little Rock employees, do not rely simply on the name in the return field.  If in doubt, call the users via a known telephone number to verify.
  • Do not provide UA Little Rock credentials on unknown websites or unsuspecting links.
  • Update all your operating systems (Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android) and apply all the latest patches.
  • Use endpoint security solutions provided by IT Services (UA Little Rock uses Symantec antivirus).
  • Back up your critical and important files in an offline method.
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) which will be rolled out across campus next month.
  • Be careful with unusual emails received from random companies. If you receive an email from a company that is trusted but it requests information or suggests a file to run, contact the company first. Scammers know which companies you trust, and they will copy the business’s email style to catch you off guard.
  • Be cautious with USB drives! When you plug someone else’s USB drive into your computer, you are risking the spread of infection via the drive itself, not the file you are attempting to share. Always transfer files between computers using emails.

If you have any questions please contact IT Services for assistance.

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