May 16, 2017
Topic: Information Technology
The University of Michigan has not been affected by the widespread global ransomware attacks on computer networks over the weekend. Even with the U-M campuses — including Michigan Medicine — unaffected at this time, the attack remains a serious, ongoing threat.
The attack that started May 12 has spread to more than 150 countries and 200,000 computers. For those affected, the attack locked people out of their computers and demanded ransom payments in order to regain access to the files.
"Most university-managed systems and devices are diligently maintained with antivirus software and regular system patches and updates, which help protect our community from this type of attack," explains Sol Bermann, the university's interim chief information security officer.
Bermann also serves as the university privacy officer and leads the Information Assurance group, which continues to monitor potential impacts of the attack at U-M.
Actions taken since May 12 include quickly informing key U-M IT stakeholders, working closely with IT security teams across all campuses and Michigan Medicine, reviewing systems and devices that may be vulnerable, and engaging in a number of other proactive IT security mitigation steps that help secure university systems from this threat.
"IT security requires that all U-M community members do their part to help keep the university safe from cyberattack," Bermann says. "This includes protecting their own work and personal devices by using antivirus software and ensuring computers and systems are updated on a timely, regular basis."
Campus community members can stay apprised of important IT security and phishing alerts by following the @umichTech Twitter account and visiting the Safe Computing website at safecomputing.umich.edu. Information about phishing and ransomware also is available, along with advice about malware, which is usually spread by suspicious links and attachments.
For members of the university community who have concerns, the ITS Service Center at its.umich.edu/help and Health Information Technology & Services Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org are available to respond to questions about the ransomware attack.