Global Ransomware Alert

As you may have seen in the media, there is currently a global ransomware attack affecting thousands of computers around the world.

While we have not seen any evidence that UBC systems have been compromised, we would like all faculty, staff and students to be extra vigilant to ensure our systems remain secure.

This particular attack (sometimes referred to as ‘WannaCry’) comes in the form of an email with web links to malicious code that infects individual computers with ransomware, in addition to infecting other computers on the network. This is the first widespread ransomware attack that has used this method to pass the infection to other computers, but will likely not be the last.

We employ the latest security technologies to protect against malware threats at UBC, but the sophistication of the threats is increasing daily and faculty, staff, and students need to play their part in keeping our university safe.

Additional steps you can take to ensure you stay secure:

  • Don’t click on any web links in emails unless you are expecting the message and are absolutely sure the links are safe.
  • It is much safer to delete an email than risk clicking on any web links in an unexpected message.
  • Contact your local IT support to ensure that your computer has the latest security patches installed. This particular malware targets computers with Microsoft Windows installed but it is still wise to ensure that any Macintosh or Linux computers you use are patched as well.
  • Make sure you have Anti-Virus software installed with the latest patches. UBC provides Sophos Anti-Virus for free on work and personal computers.
  • If you think you may have been a victim of a cyber-attack, report it immediately. Call the UBC IT Service Desk at 604.822.2008 (Vancouver) or 250.807.9000 (Okanagan).

For additional information, search “UBC Privacy Matters” online and visit the Privacy Matters at UBC website.