RansomwareRansomware is a form of malware that, after installation, encrypts the files on the victims' computer making them unaccessible. The only way to get your files accessible again is by paying a sum of money to the attacker. Users are shown instructions for how to pay a fee to get the decryption key. The costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, payable to cybercriminals in cryptocurrency or credit card. Attackers target individuals, businesses, and organizations of all kinds. Some ransomware authors sell the service to other cybercriminals, which is known as Ransomware-as-a-Service or RaaS.
Ransomware is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or through drive-by downloading. Drive-by downloading occurs when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge.
Protection against ransomware typically exists of making regular backups and disconnecting these backups from the machine / network, applying regular updates, not opening unknown e-mail attachments, two-factor authentication and good anti-virus software.