We talked about Malware in our last blog “Cyber Threat of Malware in 2020” and here we will dive into Ransomware which has many of the same characteristics of most traditional forms of malware.

What is Ransomware?

What is Ransomware

It’s a form of malware that has a special purpose, it encrypts data files on the infected computer and instructs the user to send money to attackers in order to recover their information. It presents a serious threat to business data, as it has the ability to lock access to files until the victim pays the attacker.

This can be lucrative income stream for attackers:

“In 2017, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICB) received 1,783 ransomware complaints that cost victims over $2.3 million”

Of course, these were only the attacks that were reported, the actual number of attacks and money made is much higher.

How Ransomware attack works?

How Ransomware attack works

Although, Ransomware can use any of the malware attack techniques mentioned earlier. One of the most common is the fake urgent email attachment designed to trick users into opening it.

Due to their success, Ransomware attacks have generated a lot of dramatic headlines like the one below:

“Georgia County pays a whopping $400,000 to get rid of a ransomware infection”

As long as systems remain vulnerable and users keep falling for social engineering attacks, ransomware will be the serious members of the cyber security threat landscape.