I normally don’t sound the alarm for malware, viruses, worms or other digital threats. But, this one probably does require a warning. The Bad Rabbit ransomware is a significant threat to anyone running a Windows computer. It will not impact any of the Macs, iPads, or Chromebooks we have here at Prairie. If you use a computer running Windows either here or at home, you will need to be vigilant. Infected devices will either need to be re-images (which results in losing all data on that computer) or you’ll need to pay the ransom — that’s just under $3,000 as of today. So, the best advice is not to become infected. Here’s what you need to avoid this problem.
As of right now, Bad Rabbit is disguising itself as an update to Adobe Flash. But, these types of malicious code have a way of changing over time. So, it might show up as something else in the near future. If you are prompted during web browsing to any install any type of software, please quit your browser — do not click on any of the dialog boxes in the installation window — even if there’s a “cancel” button. That should abort the installation.
Updating to the latest Microsoft patches will remove this threat going forward. We will be working with all Windows computers on campus over the next few days to get them updated. I would also strongly recommend updating your home computer (again if you are running Windows) to be sure your computer is fully patched. Drop me a line if you have questions.