Ransomware Threats

Information about how to mitigate the threats presented by ransomware

Dear WPI Community,

Recent news reports have highlighted the threat posed by global cyber-attacks, especially ransomware threats like 'Cryptowall' and 'WannaCry'. Ransomware is a unique cyber-attack technique that encrypts data, demanding money to release it.

While WPI Information Technology Services employs strategies and tools which work together to protect against these threats, community members may have questions about what they can do to protect WPI data and limit personal risk. Now is a good time to review the following best practices.


Patch/Update Devices and Reboot Often

WPI Devices

WPI ITS-managed computers are protected from WannaCry, as the patch that is needed to prevent this particular attack was rolled out to campus computers in March.

Automatic Updates

Setup devices to automatically apply updates and restart devices often.

Check IT News

Watch IT News for information about patches and be attentive to any required actions.


Beware of "Phishing" and click wisely.

"Phishing" attacks use social engineering to try to steal your credentials or identity. Do not open links or attachments in an email if you are not expecting them - even if you know and trust the sender. Cyber criminals frequently spoof web links and email addresses. Be vigilant. Trust but verify. Hover over links to validate their authenticity.

Image of a hyperlink whose destination does not match it's label

An example of a deceptive link

Report Suspicious Activity

Report suspicious emails to phishing@wpi.edu. This will help Information Security to identify current phishing threats targeting the WPI community, so they may take appropriate action.


Protect Passwords

ITS Will Not Ask for Your Passwords

No one in ITS will ever ask for your passwords and you should never provide it. Never share your passwords. Your WPI password should differ from other passwords for personal use.

Secure Passwords

Another way to ensure your security is to make sure that your passwords are complex and secure.


Backup Your Data

Make sure it's backed up

Crypto and ransomware infections can be so catastrophic for users because they encrypt and restrict access to all files on your machine. The best way to combat this type of attack is to make sure that your data is securely and regularly backed up.

Use network shares

If you use WPI's Network file storage service this is already done for you!


What to do if you think you might be infected?

If you think you may have a virus, malware, or ransomware please call ITS immediately at 1-508-831-5888 for further instructions.

WPI Info
What is your Affiliation with WPI?

Include details such as which device(s), your location (on or off campus), how long the issue has been ocurring.