What is Ransomware?

Ransomware Is A Nasty Type of Malware

Ransomware is a type of malware that holds part of your network or data hostage by ‘kidnapping’ it–encrypting it and then demanding payment for the decryption key.  And it usually comes with a threat–that the kidnappers will start destroying your data if you don’t pay.

The Rise of CryptoLocker

Ransomware has been around since the 1980s, but it became really famous in 2013 when CryptoLocker began attacking Windows-based PCs in the US and demanding payment via the digital currency Bitcoin.  CryptoLocker was eventually solved by an international police effort, but other ransomware using Bitcoin has taken its place.

Ransomware usually ends up on networks via email–so be careful about what emails you open and make sure your firewall and security measures are active and regularly tested.

More importantly, the best defense is to have an active data back-up and disaster recovery system in place in case.  That way you’re not beholden to the hijackers because you can access your own protected back-up of your data.

 

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