There have been reports that an educational institution has been targetted by a ransomware email. It contains an attachment that, when opened, scrambles files on your computer and on shared drives.
As a result of these reports, we recommend that you do not open any email attachments from unknown sources and ensure that you have antivirus software installed which is up to date. You can read the full guidance on protecting yourself against ransomware in our blog post.
Please feel free to contact us should you need any further information and advice about this issue.
We strongly advise you to back up your files on a regular basis.
You will be aware of the news reports of ransomware attacks on the NHS and many other institutions around the world. Ransomware attacks are mainly launched via email and are a major threat to our data.
To protect against these, the University of Bath relies on a layered approach to protect our systems with regular patching, anti-virus, firewall protection and mail filtering. Updates to protect University systems against the vulnerability exploited in the latest attacks were tested and released to our systems and signature updates for the current attack were made available from our vendors. Support teams are working to check that all updates have been deployed successfully and ensure that our systems are fully protected.
Ransomware does need someone to open the booby-trapped attachments so everyone should take care with emails containing attachments or links. An email may look genuine but can be spoofed. You should ask yourself:
- Am I expecting an email from this organisation?
- Have I actually purchased or used the service being referred to?
- Am I confident that the attachment is safe?
Even if you choose to open the attachment:
- Never tick/check enable macros on attachments, unless you explicitly need to and trust the sender. If in doubt contact Computing Services.
- Don’t run a program if you don’t know where it has come from and haven’t chosen to install it yourself.
If you are in any doubt, the best way to contact us is at http://go.bath.ac.uk/it-help-form. If your enquiry is urgent then you can contact us on x3434.
Personal and home computers need to be protected as much as University systems, so make sure you run system updates and check your anti-virus is up to date the next time you use your computer. For more information see the article on the malware from Microsoft.
We also offer advice on dealing with fake and phishing emails on our website.