Ransomware is a type of malware that quite literally holds your data for ransom until you pay a fine. Malware (short for malicious software) refers to any software used to gain access to a computer or network with the intent to gather private information or disrupt operations. There are many types of Malware, but ransomware is among the most common, in part because you often do most of the work.
There are two types of ransomware. The first is called Cryptors. It is a form of data encryption, meaning it encrypts your files rendering them useless until you have the encryption key. The second type is known as a Blocker which blocks your device completely, also leaving it useless. It is important to note that any device can be effected by ransomware, including your cell phone.
Now, back to the part about how you are doing most of the heavy lifting. Hackers often send phishing emails impersonating a trustworthy source you interact with often. These emails are a way to gain access to sensitive information. As soon as you click the link or open the attachment, the malware installs without you even noticing.
Once your device or data is locked, the ultimatium will appear; pay up or lose everything. Sometimes paying the ransom isn't enough, as was the case with Kansas Heart Hospital. This goes to show that the best way to fight rnasomware attacks is to prevent them.
Unfortunately, these attacks are on the rise. To learn more about how to stop Ransomware, check out our 4 step guide below.