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About WannaCrypt Ransomware Attacks

Dear colleagues and students,

We all learn from news about the world-wide outbreak of the WannaCrypt Ransomware.  The attacks would hit desktop or laptop PCs/servers with unpatched Windows systems and those that run the unsupported Windows systems (Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003).

At HKU, we have IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) rules enabled at the Internet firewalls to block the malicious traffic that would infect PCs/servers inside the University network.  However, we would still recommend our users to follow the requirements as stated below because users may bring computers from home and use on the University network, and hackers could have means to tunnel through firewalls:

1. Do not connect any Windows XP/Windows 8 PCs and Windows 2003 servers onto the University network, as they are unsupported by Microsoft.

2. For all other PCs/servers, ensure that the MS17-010 patch released by Microsoft in March has been applied.  We recommend users to set their PCs with auto-download for "Windows Update.  If you have followed this practice and your PCs run the supported Windows,  the PCs should satisfy the requirement.  Otherwise,  please install the MS17-010 patch on them as soon as  possible.  (Do "Windows Update" should serve the purpose.)

Also update anti-virus as well. "Sophos endpoint security" has released new virus signature updates for detecting WannaCrypt Ransomware. Other anti-virus software should have virus signature updates soon, if not yet available. Please update anti-virus on your PCs as soon as possible. 

Please do not respond to any emails or websites that suggest solutions for decrypting files locked by ransomware.

They are most probably malicious.

For more information on the attacks, please visit the following website:

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/msrc/2017/05/12/customer-guidance-for-wannacrypt-attacks/

Information Security Team
Information Technology Services

p.s. Windows Update can be done as:

In Internet Explorer 11 browser => click the "Tools" menu => "Windows Update". 

For Windows 10 => click the Start button => type "Windows Update" => click "Windows Update"

(Later also check "Windows Update settings" to ensure auto-download and installation of all critical updates.)