IT Warns of Phishing Schemes in Light of Recent Global Ransomware Attacks

By now, many have heard about the ransomware attacks which surged last Friday, May 12, infecting tens of thousands of computers in over 100 countries around the world.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software which encrypts users’ files and basically locks them out of their computer until they pay the ransom. This specific attack also took advantage of a vulnerability in Microsoft’s operating system which allowed it to quickly spread.

What is the risk to Southeast Missouri State University?

1. Information Technology (IT) released the patch for the Microsoft vulnerability back in March, and the University’s systems should be up-to-date and not at risk for spreading the malware.

2. The attack normally gets its foothold in an institution via a phishing scheme with someone opening an infected file or clicking a link to an infected site. It is in this last area where the University is most at risk. Phishing attacks have become more sophisticated. It is easy to be tricked if a user isn’t paying attention.

Learn about phishing and how to protect yourself at http://www.semo.edu/it/security/peLandingPage.

Remember, these attacks are changing every day. In most cases, you are the first line of defense for the University.

If you have questions, contact the IT Help Desk at (573) 651-4357.