New virus and phishing threats

Author: Jane Morrow

A laptop computer

The Office of Information Technologies (OIT) Information Security division wants you to be aware of two serious threats that could potentially damage your files or put your personal information at risk.

Computer virus holds your files for ransom

A computer virus called Cryptolocker is on the rise. It prevents you from using your files until you pay a fee, and it can even affect files on network drives like NetFile and CorpFS.

Cryptolocker can infect any computer just by clicking on a link to a malicious website, opening a document from a fake email or clicking a link in a phony FedEx or UPS tracking notice. A computer may also become infected with Cryptolocker if it is currently infected with other viruses or malware.

Protect your computer and personal information by following these guidelines:

  • Back up your computer regularly!
  • Make sure your anti-virus software is running on every computer you use and that it updates every day.
  • Do not open email attachments that you were not expecting, even if you know the sender.
  • Do not open email attachments from senders you do not recognize.

If you receive the Cryptolocker pop-up window, contact the OIT Help Desk immediately. The sooner you report the infection, the more likely you can recover your files, especially any files located on a network drive.

New round of phishing scams on campus

The OIT has received reports of a variety of phishing scams—including email, phone calls and text messages. These scams use names, logos and formats from businesses or organizations familiar to you (such as local banks).

The phishing scams may indicate there is a problem with your account, and urge you to respond immediately to “verify” or “update” your account. If you click on the link or proceed to the next step and provide the requested information, the cybercriminal can now gain control of your identity, your funds or your email account.

Remember, Notre Dame or any other legitimate organization will NEVER ask you for your password, social security number, credit card number or other sensitive information.

If you have any questions, please contact your departmental IT support staff, or the OIT Help Desk at 574-631-8111, email or chat.