Prevent ransomware infection

As you may have heard in the news, the University of Calgary is in the process of recovering from a significant malicious software (malware) attack. The attack resulted in widespread IT service disruptions spanning several days.

The malware attack at UCalgary involved a form of cybercrime known as ransomware. Ransomware is the use of software to encrypt or scramble files, rendering them inaccessible without a decryption key.  The criminals attempt to extort profit from a ransomware attack by selling this key back to the victim.

The University of Victoria has security measures in place to proactively detect attacks and reduce the risk of such incidents.  UVic has been closely monitoring the situation since the incident began and is taking further preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of a similar incident occurring within our university community; however, these attacks are constantly evolving and we may not be able to fully protect against an attack.

Along with our enterprise-wide security measures, there are steps you can take to help protect against ransomware or reduce the negative impact of an attack:

  • Do not open unexpected email attachments or attachments from unknown senders.
  • Do not click on unknown links; verify that a link leads to the website you expect to visit.
  • Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.
  • Keep your computer and key software such as your web browser, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Microsoft Office, and Java up-to-date.
  • Use enterprise systems such as Connect/SharePoint and Departmental File Storage to store documents.
  • Backup your data securely.
  • Use secure passphrases and change them regularly.

To learn more about how you can secure your data, visit

If you have any questions, contact Desktop Support Services or the Computer Help Desk:

Telephone: 250-721-7687