What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects computers and encrypts files, making them inaccessible to the user. It then demands payment in exchange for unlocking the data. Ransomware can be spread through email attachments, downloads from untrusted websites, or by exploiting security vulnerabilities on an infected computer system. Once installed, ransomware will typically display a message demanding payment in order to unlock the encrypted files. The ransom amount may vary depending on the severity of the attack and how much data has been compromised.

The most common form of ransomware is CryptoLocker which was first discovered in 2013 and quickly became one of the most widespread forms of malware ever seen. Other variants include Locky, Cerber, WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya which have all caused significant disruption across multiple industries worldwide due to their ability to rapidly spread across networks via phishing emails or other means such as exploit kits hosted on malicious websites. As with any cyber-attack prevention is key; users should ensure they are running up-to-date anti-virus software and regularly back up important data so it can be recovered if needed without having to pay a ransom demand.

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