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Malware and Ransomware



Malware definition

Malware is software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems and commits crimes such as fraud and identity theft. 


Ransomware definition

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.  The party requesting the sum of money is trying to trick the individual to provide payment information so that they obtain personal information. 


How to protect yourself:

  • Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date
  • Stay current with Windows Updates
  • Use extreme caution when opening attachments
    • Be suspicious of email messages from sources (people) that you do not know or recognize. 
    • NEVER respond to any email message asking you to click a web link to raise your email quota (our email system will NEVER send you a request asking you to do that).
    • NEVER respond (reply) to any email message with confidential information (Social Security number, Credit Card numbers, account Passwords
    • Avoid opening attachments that suggest you must reply quickly or ‘act fast’ and hence feel compelled to open the attachment quickly – without considering the source.
    • If you accidentally responded to a phishing message, please contact the Campus Technology Services (CTS) Help Desk for additional advice. 
    • Forward any suspicious emails to the CTS Help Desk for review
    • Do not use peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing
    • Keep your browser versions up-to-date
    • Back up your files regularly
    • Montana Tech uses McAfee anti-virus and Malwarebytes – malware scanner.   

If you need assistance with any of these options or have questions please contact your support coordinator.  If you are not sure who your support coordinator is, refer to this site –CLICK HERE

If your computer becomes compromised it is best to turn off your machine right away and contact your support coordinator.


Malware information 

Malware, spyware, and other junk software can make it onto your computer in several ways.

  • You may have downloaded something you shouldn’t have from an untrustworthy source.  Often these include screensavers and toolbars
  • You didn’t pay attention when installing or upgrading a “reputable” application that sneaks in toolbars or other unwanted features
  • You are already infected with malware, and that malware installs more malware

If you have several pop-ups or toolbars this could be a sign that you are infected with malware.  Common known malware includes –

  • Mywebsearch toolbar
  • MediaBar toolbar
  • Registry Doctor
  • Fake antivirus / malware scanner

“Antivirus 2010”, “Antivirus 7”, “Security scanner”, “Antivirus 360”, “Personal anti malware”, “Malware defense”

Scam Anitvirus 2010

Scam Malware Defense
Scam Windows Anti



Ransomware information 

  • Ransomware is malicious software that locks you out of your computer or files until you pay a ransom.  The party requesting the sum of money is trying to trick the individual to provide payment information so that they obtain personal information. 
  • Malware and ransomware may look alike.
  • Files that are locked out or “crypto locked” cannot be recovered. 
  • Common known ransomware includes –
    • CryptoWall, CryptoDefense, CryptoWall 2.0, CryptoWall 3.0
Examples of ransomware –

Scam FBI
Scam Locked