Cybersecurity Awareness: Ransomware 101

If you’ve been following recent election coverage, you may have heard about how Microsoft took action to disrupt a massive hacking operation that distributes ransomware, which the US government and independent experts have warned is one of the largest threats to the upcoming elections.

What is ransomware? According to the National Cybersecurity Alliance (, ransomware is a type of malware that accesses a victim’s files, locks and encrypts them and then demands the victim to pay a ransom to get them back. It’s like the “digital kidnapping” of valuable data – from personal photos and memories to client information, financial records and intellectual property – and any individual or organization could be a potential target.

So, how do you avoid ransomware and prevent an attack? Suggestions include keeping a clean machine (mentioned in our last post), protecting yourself with security software, and backing up your data. For more tips, additional resources, and advice for what to do if you’re faced with a ransomware attack, check out this tip sheet: Ransomware 101

Computing Services is here to help you with cybersecurity and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us at (719) 587-7741,, or stop by our Help Desk on the first floor of Nielsen Library.

Have a great rest of the week!

ASU Computing Services