“WannaCry” Ransomware Attack Infecting Machines Worldwide

What happened?

A hacking tool created by the NSA that was leaked earlier this year is now behind a massive ransomware attack happening around the world. The ransomware, called “WannaCry,” locks down all the files on an infected computer. The victims monitor shows a message “Oops, your files have been encrypted!” and demands they pay $300 in Bitcoin, the digital currency used by many cybercriminals, to regain access.

The attack may start as a phishing email but once it gains access to one computer it searches and spreads to other vulnerable computers on the same network. Meaning, if one person opens the phishing email and is connect to the free cafe WiFi any other vulnerable computer connected to that WiFi can be infected.

How does it impact the FIT community?

The attack takes advantage of a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The recommendation from cybersecurity experts is to apply a patch from Microsoft. The Division of Information Technology regularly deploys patches to protect computers and the FIT network from vulnerabilities and has already installed this patch on FIT desktop computers.

FIT-issued laptops and individuals’ home computers might still be vulnerable to this Ransomware attack.

The attack is only infecting computers running Windows operating systems, including Mac computers running a Windows operating system.

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Be careful of incoming email, particularly those that include an attachment.

  • Turn on auto update for Microsoft patches on your home computer. (A patch is a piece of software designed to update a computer program, to fix or improve it.

  • Faculty and Staff, please refer to the email sent May 15th from [email protected].

Where can you get more information?

The New York Times

Visit fitnyc.edu/cybersafe and stay tuned for emails from [email protected].

Be aware—and be cybersafe!

Questions? Comments? Email [email protected] or call 212 217.HELP (4357).