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About WannaCrypt Ransomware Attacks - an Update

Dear colleagues and students,

I refer to our email sent out on May 14, 2017 regarding the world-wide outbreak of WannaCrypt ransomware attacks.

Over the last weekend (May 13 & 14, 2017), we have been closely monitoring the healthiness of the University network and took identified measures to protect the campus network against the WannaCrypt ransomware attacks.   As of May 15, 2017, the first working day after the outbreak, our Service Desk received only a handful of enquiries from colleagues asking how to check if their PCs are safe or reporting issues in conducting Windows/anti-virus updates.  Other than these, we did not receive any reports from users on their PCs infected with WannaCrypt ransomware.

While the following precaution for general users are important against malware, we would like to remind the importance of switching off the PCs after office hours, as this would reduce the chance of being attacked and save energy.

  • Regularly backup your PC data and keep a recent backup copy off-line (this also helps in case your PC or mobile device cannot be used suddenly e.g. due to hardware failure)
  • Always shut down your PCs after use
  • Delete any suspicious emails received and do not open them
  • Do not run any suspicious files
  • Do not enable macros in document attachments received via email
  • Do not visit suspicious websites and P2P sites which often share files unknowingly to the users
  • Be cautious of unsolicited attachments
  • Keep the operating systems and security patches of your PCs up-to-date
  • Ensure anti-virus software is installed on your PCs and keep it up-to-date with the latest virus signature
  • Do not share drives of your PCs; and if really necessary, limit access rights to the people who have genuine needs in accessing the shared drive.

In case you have any questions on the above, please contact our Service Desk at ithelp@hku.hk or 3917 0123.

Regards,

John Lam
Information Security Team
Information Technology Services