American University of Beirut


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

​​​How To Identify?

Ransomware typically appears as:

  • A pop-up message telling you that your computer is infected or asking you to click for a free scan
  • Phishing emails that have malicious attachments or links to malicious websites​ or malicious advertising found on an otherwise legitimate website
  • Infected software apps, infected external storage devices, and compromised websites

​​How To Protect Your Data?

It is critical to take the following measures to protect your data:

  • Check out the sender of the email before downloading attachments or clicking on the attached links. An antivirus program may or may not detect a malicious attachment.
  • Regularly back up your data and make sure you can restore files from backups. Ask for assistance from the IT Helpdesk by email or call extension 4000.
  • Avoid using an administrator account for day to day business. In case of a ransomware attack, the cybercriminal will have the same administrator privileges as you.
  • Regularly update your software with patches. A patch is a set of changes to a computer program or its supporting data, designed to update, fix, or improve it, one of which is security vulnerabilities.
  • If you think that your computer is infected with ransomware, isolate or shut down your computer and report immediately to the IT Helpdesk. ​​

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