UVA Alumni Association Successfully Confronts Ransomware using Infrascale


UVA Alumni Association has been an Infrascale customer since 2007. Prompted by a business objective to increase restore times and data protection reliability, they migrated from their legacy tape backup solution to Infrascale’s on-premise backup appliance. As Ellen McCree, Network Administrator for the Alumni Association said, “We moved from tape to Infrascale and we’ve never looked back – we can restore a file in seconds and it’s easy to use.”

Infrascale Backup Saves the Day

It was a typical Wednesday morning in their busy office until Ellen received a frantic call from an employee. The employee called to report that she couldn’t open any of her Excel files. Within each infected Excel folder an HTML file contained a phone number to call for ransom information.

Ellen assessed the infection and determined it was the Zepto ransomware, which went through the employee’s PC, attacked the network and infected the network drive, encrypting over 63,000 excel files with .zepto extension. With mission-critical files inaccessible, the Zepto attack brought the office to a halt.

Containing a Ransomware Infection

Ellen knew she needed to act fast and immediately turned the server off and decided to wipe the network drives and restore all of the files from a clean backup. With Infrascale, you can set your own backup schedule (i.e. daily, hourly) and Ellen had set the schedule to backup daily. With the ransomware infection occurring early in the morning, she knew the staff wouldn’t lose that much work. After deleting all of the files, she initiated the restore via Infrascale’s web-based dashboard. The restore took 1.5 hours and just like that, the office was back to normal. Ellen added “Everyone from the CEO to the administrative staff praised our department for minimizing ransomware downtime and avoiding paying the ransom.”

The Importance of Enterprise Backup

While Ellen implemented all of the typical ransomware preventative measures, from having a spam/malware solution in place to conducting employee cyber security training programs, she knew there was always a possibility that an employee would accidentally click on a phishing email or that software might not be updated. It’s why she prioritized having an enterprise backup solution in place to ensure she could quickly restore data to a point before infection and avoid paying a costly ransom.  Ellen said, “With Infrascale, I can say with 100% certainty that I’ll be able to recover from a ransomware infection quickly without having to pay.”

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