OIT Statement on Ransomware Attack, Virus Protection

The Office of Information Technology has issued a statement concerning the recent ransomware attack.

Last Friday, a ransomware virus entitled “Wanna Cry” made its appearance on the internet, and it has been rapidly infecting systems across the globe.

This virus targets Microsoft Windows Operating Systems XP through 2012, and it can spread virally among vulnerable machines without requiring a user to open emails, click on links or take any other action.

OIT encourages all UA faculty and staff to ensure their machines are up to date with Microsoft patches, especially the recently released MS17-010 patch that was distributed in March.

Also, users are encouraged to take advantage of OIT’s free McAfee Antivirus software, which is available for immediate download and installation at https://oit.ua.edu/software/mcafee-virus-protection/. Although this particular virus “Wanna Cry” targets Windows operating systems, OIT encourages both PC and Mac users to use McAfee Antivirus Software.

Additionally, OIT encourages that if you have any data stored locally on your machine, that you back it up to Box, UA’s free, unlimited cloud storage system. More information on Box can be found on OIT’s website at https://oit.ua.edu/software/ua-box/.

Faculty and staff who have any questions about the virus, who think they might be a victim, or who need help downloading McAfee Antivirus Software should contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555. Updates and further information will be posted at oit.ua.edu/news/.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.