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Virginia Tech expert offers tips to defend yourself against future ransomware attacks

June 30, 2017

Laptop computer covered in stickers
Image from a cybersecurity competition hosted at Virginia Tech.

As ransomware attacks continue to spread around the world, Virginia Tech computer science expert Gang Wang says cyberweapons remain a national concern and offers tips to prevent future attacks.

Listen to his radio interview about the WannaCry attack.

Quoting Wang

Wang explains that Petya (or NotPetya) is a particular type of malware. “The ransomware used in Petya and WannaCry share many similarities. Once it infects a computer, it will block the access and encrypt the files to demand a ransom,” says Wang. “Petya can infect machines that have downloaded patches associated with the EternalBlue vulnerability, from recently leaked NSA documents.”

“The best way to protect yourself from ransomware includes updating old operating systems to the latest versions, download patch vulnerabilities as soon as possible and most importantly backup files regularly, even if your files are encrypted, you can restore them from the backups.”

About Wang

Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. His research uses focuses on security, internet measurement, and mobile networks. Read his full bio here.

He also recently co-authored a paper which revealed Android apps can conspire to mine information from smartphones.

Schedule an interview

To secure an interview, email Ceci Leonard or call 540-357-2500 in the Media Relations office.

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