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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Message from Chief Security Information Officer Kevin Lanning

Hello everyone –

Most of you are aware of a new malicious software program named WannaCrypt or Wannacry (WCry), which has been described in many news outlets over the last few days due to Wcry infecting computers running Windows. WCry is a type of malicious software known as ransomware. Once a computer is infected, the malware encrypts files on the computer, making them inaccessible. The user is told to pay a ransom to recover the files. With WCry, an unpatched computer could become compromised without any action by you. One reason this malicious software has spread so aggressively on computer networks is that it attempts to infect other computers on the network that do not have the latest security patches.

ITS has taken additional steps to ensure centrally managed computers have been appropriately patched. We have not received reports of infected computers here at UNC-Chapel Hill, but the ITS Service Desk has received several calls from concerned users who have asked for help applying security patches. Thank you for that!

If your Windows computer is not managed by University technical staff, read this article regarding how to configure your computer to patch automatically: https://help.med.unc.edu/guide/operating-systems/windows-auto-update. (Special thanks to our colleagues at the School of Medicine for this info.) If you are not sure whether your computer is managed or not, contact your local technical support staff or the ITS Service Desk at http://help.unc.edu/servicedesk. Consider configuring automatic patching on home systems as well. Please remember that patching does not become effective until after a reboot.

Additional guidance:

1)   If you believe your computer may have been infected with WCry, please contact the ITS Service Desk at http://help.unc.edu/servicedesk.

2)   To protect your information from malware such as ransomware, create backups of your most important files and save them to another system, removable storage media or a cloud solution. If you have UNC-Chapel Hill files you need to back up, contact your local technical support staff or contact the ITS Service Desk at http://help.unc.edu/servicedesk.

Thank you,

Kevin Lanning

Chief Information Security Officer

UNC-Chapel Hill

 

Sandra Germenis

Assistant Vice Chancellor

User Support and Engagement

Information Technology Services

This message is sponsored by: Information Technology Service