Cyber security expert at LSU addresses recent cyberattack, offers tips

Cyber security expert at LSU addresses recent cyberattack, offers tips

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Various organizations and individuals are now taking a closer look at their cyber security following a worldwide attack on information this past weekend. Specifically, LSU teaches future cyber security experts how to prevent viruses from impacting technology.

"It's literally you're running an application or inserting a thumb drive away from complete disaster," said Golden Richard, associate director for cyber security at LSU's Center for Computation and Technology.

A recent ransomware attack targeted thousands of companies around the world.

"I've taught a class in malware reverse engineering, which means taking apart viruses, worms, and ransomware [like] what we saw over the weekend, to figure out how they work," said Richard.

Richard says the only silver lining to the attack is organizations that deal with ransomware scale the cost of retrieving data based on the size of the infection and the scale of the attack. Businesses with large amounts of data, for instance, could pay thousands to retrieve their data, while individuals might only have to pay a couple hundred dollars.

"Everyone should be worried," said Richard.

In recent years, Richard says his classes have become more and more popular. He has some tips for those wanting to protect their data:

  • Don't click on strange links or attachments in emails
  • Don't open emails or attachments from senders you don't recognize
  • Analyze incoming email messages

"Emails that mimic a real organization email are really hard to differentiate now, but usually there's some mistakes, like grammatical errors in a message from a bank or something. It's probably a good sign that it's not real. Many organizations won't use email as the mechanism for getting credentials from you," said Richard.

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