**Vigilance Required - Ransomware Virus**

Status: in progress

Start time: Ongoing, Last Update August 2016

End time: Ongoing

Dear Colleagues,

You may have seen media reports on the rise of so-called “ransomware” attacks. Ransomware is a new type of computer virus that encrypts the data on personal computers, and prevents users from accessing their files until a ransom is paid. Some versions of ransomware will claim a computer has been “used for illegal activity,” and has been “locked by the police.”

While DIT uses the latest security tools to protect against viruses and malware, the speed with which ransomware variants emerge means that protection against all attacks cannot be guaranteed. A successful attack could result in the loss of your data, and would need to be treated under the Institute’s Data Security Breach Management guidelines.

In nearly all cases, you can avoid ransomware from being installed on your computer by following the steps below.

1. Don't open email attachments if you don't know what they are, or aren't expecting them.

2. Don't download software from any website you don't fully trust.

3. Before clicking on links in emails, consider if the sender would send a link, and if the message makes sense. Check the sender address as messages often claim to be from a well-known public body or company but the ‘from’ address doesn’t have the company name in it.  Hold your mouse pointer over the link to see if it’s a recognised web address. If you have any concerns regarding such email please contact the Service Desk at ext 3123.

4. Keep your software (Windows/Mac, Office, Adobe) up to date with security patches (DIT PCs are configured for automatic updates).

5. Use updated anti-virus and firewall software (DIT PCs have Symantec anti-virus software installed).

6. Take regular backups of your data and keep these secure (data stored on DIT shares are regularly backed up).

In the event that you become aware of a ransomware attack involving DIT data, please contact the DIT Service Desk at ext 3123.



We wish to advise all staff that ICT services currently conduct back-up routines on all network storage provided for individual and shared drives. 

Please note that we do not back-up any files on individual PC’s.  Where data is stored on the local PC it is the responsibility of individual staff to ensure that such files are regularly backed up.  Staff are advised not to engage with any individual or company requesting payment for data decryption.  Any suspected infections should be reported to the Service Desk.



ICT Services


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