UMB Not Affected by New Worldwide Ransomware Attacks

June 29, 2017   |  By Joe Dincau

The University of Maryland, Baltimore was not affected by the latest widespread global ransomware attack, known as Petya.

The new attack spread rapidly throughout Europe affecting thousands of systems left unpatched from the WannaCry ransomware last month.

Our first verified communication of this threat came from the Research and Education Network-Information Security Advisory Council (REN-ISAC) as well as other information security sources.

We realized immediately that the information security protections that were in place prior to the WannaCry ransomware attack were protecting UMB from this new malware variant.

These security protections included:

  • Having applied security patches on computers and servers
  • Having blocked unsecured network ports with the campus firewall
  • Having kept the Intrusion Prevention System up-to-date with the latest security features
  • Having restricted administrative rights on computers, as appropriate
  • Having restricted the downloading of potential virus carrying software programs on computers

While this attack was a non-issue for UMB, and a relatively low level threat compared to other attacks that we experience on a regular basis, it is another reminder of the value and importance of having a strong IT security plan and program, the need to continue to support IT security as a priority activity, the need to continue to make appropriate investments in security technologies, and the need to continue to remind and educate the UMB community that information security is everyone's responsibility.

If you have any questions about the Petya attack or about UMB IT security, please contact the IT Security and Compliance team.