Brock community asked to be cautious of cyberattacks as geopolitical tensions rise

Brock University is urging students and employees to be cautious while engaging with technology and to take preventative measures against cyberattacks.

The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to increased risks associated with cyberattacks. Russia has threatened retaliatory measures against countries it sees as interfering with its war efforts, which may include cyberattacks against organizations’ critical infrastructure, such as information assets, systems and networks.

Brock University Information Technology Services (ITS) is advising students, staff, faculty and librarians to be wary of odd emails, texts, files and links they receive.

Some of the most common methods  used in cyberattacks include ransomware and phishing.


Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts computer files so users cannot access them. Attackers then demand ransom in return for the files. Users are typically infected by downloading files attached to emails or running untrusted applications. ITS advises caution when downloading email attachments. If in doubt, forward emails with attachments to to confirm the validity of files.


Phishing deceives users by mimicking legitimate sources to lure them into submitting sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and multi-factor authentication codes. In some instances, it could also include ID numbers, names, addresses and other information that is later used for identity theft. Phishing often takes the form of links in emails and text messages. ITS advises to be wary of sites asking for usernames and passwords, and to think twice before clicking on links.

Tips for preventing cyberattacks

  • Always install anti-virus software and keep anti-virus software updated.
  • Make sure to backup important information.
  • Avoid suspicious websites or application sources.
  • Do not open attached files from unknown sources.
  • Be wary of downloading and using any software to your devices.
  • Be wary of emails urging you to open, reply or click something.
  • Be wary of emails offering employment offers or deals that may seem too good to be true.
  • Be wary of clicking any website links.
  • Before clicking on links, always check the destination of the link by hovering over it with a mouse, or if on mobile, doing a long press over the link.
  • If something seems odd, trust your instincts and confirm with others.

Brock employees and students who feel their devices are acting strangely or have been comprised should contact the ITS Help Desk at 905-688-5550 xHELP (4357) or email

For more information on cybersecurity awareness, visit the ITS website.

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