Boston University and the WannaCry Ransomware Attack

You may have seen news of a widespread global ransomware attack.  We want to make sure our community is aware of the details of the situation, how it affected Boston University, and what we should all be doing to keep our systems and data safe.

Cybercriminals released a new piece of malicious software (malware) on Friday May 12, 2017 that is reported to have impacted up to 150 countries.

Late Friday afternoon, BU Information Security was alerted that a computer on the Charles River Campus was infected and attacking other computers on the Internet.  The infected computer was quickly isolated by Information Services and Technology (IS&T).  The IT Help Center worked to ensure BU managed computers (if you see a weekly message on your computer from KACE Desktop Alert saying your computer was updated, it is a BU managed computer) were patched for this vulnerability.

This attack was mitigated by people keeping their systems up to date (make sure to install updates regularly) and being careful in their handling of e-mail (don’t fall for phishing scams).  This attack also reminds us to ensure that you have your important documents backed up.  We’ve included links to BU sites, it’s a good idea to hover over links or long-press on a mobile device to see where the link will send you before you click it.

For more details on this event, and related information security best practices, see our article on TechWeb. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the Help Center by sending an email to or calling 617-353-HELP (4357).