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ITS urges WVU employees, students to use caution in light of Petya ransomware scam

With the latest ransomware scam, “Petya,” sweeping the globe, it is critical that WVU faculty, staff and students do NOT click on attachments or embedded links in emails from unfamiliar senders. These emails also could potentially be “spoofed” to appear is if they are coming from a legitimate WVU employee.

It is vital that you exercise caution and skepticism. If the nature of the request is out of the norm, please call the sender to verify its legitimacy and forward the email as an attachment to DefendYourData@mail.wvu.edu. An example of such an unusual request might be a high-ranking administrator or someone you don’t typically deal with directly asking you to transfer funds.

Ransomware encrypts all files on an infected machine, as well as other systems on the network that machine shares. Hackers then demand hundreds of dollars in bitcoin to release the files. Information Technology Services advises against paying the ransom, as there is no guarantee your data will be released.

If you inadvertently launch the ransomware on a WVU machine and see a threatening message about your files being encrypted, immediately power off the computer and call ITS at 304-293-4444. ITS does not support personal computers.