In the last week Canadian universities, including Western, have seen a significant rise in ransomware attacks against information systems.
Ransomware is software which scans a computer, encrypting all data files it finds, basically hijacking the data. Unless backups exist, this data is unrecoverable unless payment is made to the virus author.
ITS is reporting that our community is at risk. Faculty, staff and students have all been victimized by a new threat called 'Cryptorbit'. Fortunately, Western's anti-virus solution can detect and remove this virus (but cannot recover its victimized files).
For more information about Western's Antivirus solution, go to http://www.security.uwo.ca/antivirus . Further questions may be directed to ITS Helpdesk at x83800.