MCC Daily Tribune

Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that is downloaded onto your computer without your knowledge. Cybercriminals infect your computer with a virus, which they often do by tricking you into clicking on a link or an attachment. Cyber criminals are making it look very real and creating a sense of urgency.

Here's how it works: you receive an email that looks like it is from a trusted organization, like Fedex. The email says Fedex just tried to deliver a package, the delivery guy is still in the area, and if you click on the link, he will attempt to deliver it again in the next couple hours.

Once you have clicked on the link or attachment, the ransomware encrypts the computer's hard drive, locking you out of all computer files, photos, music and everything you have stored on your computer. Only after the criminals have received their ransom payment will they provide the key (or not) to decrypt your content.

MCC has been infected on many occasions by ransomware. A computer infected by ransomware also infects (encrypts) all network drives and directories the computer has access too. This includes your C: drive, M: drive and any USB's you have inserted into your PC. When Technology Services is notified of the encryption, technology support will investigate the extent of the infection and restore from our backups all network drives that have been encrypted. However, the files on your PC and USB drives will be lost. Technology Services does not backup your PC drive. This is why we encourage everyone to store important documents on the M: drive.

Ransomware or any computer virus causes reduced productivity, data loss and possible breach of confidential information. Approximately 60% of security breaches last year were a result of human error. An educated user is the key to preventing ransomware and malware downloads. The best defense is understanding threats of this type and resisting the need to click that link, or open that attachment. By taking the Cybersecurity Awareness Training, you will learn how to protect yourself and the College.

If you think your computer is infected by ransomware, disconnect the computer from the Network or shut it down immediately and call the Technology Support Line at x8324 for assistance.

Pogroszewski, Donna
Chief Information Security Officer