IT SECURITY ALERT: European Ransomware Attack Being Monitored

European ransomware attack poses threat

The Washington University Information Security Office is monitoring the development of a significant and widespread ransomware attack in Europe with potential to pose a threat in the U.S.

The ransomware cyber attack hit Tuesday afternoon and affected government, infrastructure and corporate entities throughout Europe.

In these incidents, ransomware is spread through the network. User interaction (via clicking an email or similar technology engagement) is not a requirement to becoming vulnerable to this threat.

While there are no reports of this attack in the U.S. (at the time of this message), the Information Security Office advises that university users exercise cyber security best practices — particularly with respect to email. Do not click links in suspicious emails. Also, if you do not intend to use your computer this evening, we recommend that you shut it down.

We are working to better understand the threat and are taking the necessary precautions to alert and protect Washington University users.

If you believe you have been exposed to this threat, please log off of the university network and contact the Information Security Office immediately at

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