LSU Cyber Security Expert Discusses Recent Cyberattack

BATON ROUGE - Organizations and individuals are now taking a closer look at their cyber security after a worldwide weekend attack on their information. LSU teaches future cybersecurity experts how to prevent these viruses from impacting technology.

“It’s literally you’re running an application or inserting a thumb drive away from complete disaster,” said Golden Richard, the associate director for cybersecurity at LSU’s Center for Computation and Technology. 

A recent ransomware cyberattack targeted thousands of companies across the globe. 

Richard said the only silver lining is the ransomware organizations scale the cost to retrieve your files based on the size of the infection and the scale of the attack. Businesses with larger amounts of data could pay thousands of dollars, compared to an individual who may be asked to pay a couple hundred dollars.“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,” Richard said.

“Everyone should be worried,” Richard said.

He said his classes are becoming more and more popular. Students are signing up to become research assistants before the position has even been funded. He adds the industry and intelligence community needs more people trained in cybersecurity.

But how can you protect yourself?

·      Don’t click on strange links or attachments in emails.
·      Don’t open emails or attachments from senders you don’t recognize.
·      Analyze the email messages you receive.

“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,” Richard said. “Many organizations won’t use email as the mechanism for getting credentials from you.”


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Contact Rachel Spangenthal
LSU Media Relations


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