Ransomware attacks target UC Berkeley researchers

November 6, 2020

UC Berkeley Research community,

As seen during the UCSF incident, attackers are targeting both systems and individuals using tactics like spear phishing and exploitation of Remote Desktop Protocols.

If you are running outdated or unpatched operating systems,

the risk to your systems and data is especially critical.

(e.g., Windows XP, Windows 7, macOS 10.12 and below).

Ways to Protect Your Data:

1, Keep your operating systems, browsers, and applications patched and up-to-date.

2, For specialized systems (microscopes, imaging systems, high-value lab equipment) that require running out-of-date operating systems, the Information Security Office is offering advanced endpoint protection software through UC’s partnership with FireEye.

3, Researchers should work with Research IT and the Information Security Office to identify appropriate IT resources and perform risk assessments for their environments:

4, Secure your Remote Desktop Protocols, especially if you are trying to remotely access devices (microscopes, imaging systems, or other equipment) from off-campus.

5, Be politely suspicious of unsolicited emails.

  • Contact the alleged sender in a separate email or call to confirm - do not use any information provided in the original email.
  • Report suspicious emails; you could save someone else from becoming a victim. phishing@berkeley.edu.

Allison Henry, Chief Information Security Officer