What is Ransomware?

Computer ransomware is malicious software that encrypts files on a victim’s computer, rendering them inaccessible until a ransom is paid. It acts as a digital extortion tool, preventing users from accessing their data until they meet the attackers’ demands. This type of cyber threat has become increasingly prevalent, targeting individuals, businesses, and even government organizations. Ransomware often spreads via email attachments, infected websites, or through network vulnerabilities. Once installed, the ransomware encrypts files using a unique cryptographic key, making it nearly impossible to decrypt without paying the ransom or better yet having a backup. The attackers typically demand payment in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, to facilitate anonymous transactions. The consequences of a ransomware attack can be severe, ranging from financial losses and reputational damage to significant disruptions in day-to-day operations. It is crucial for individuals and organizations alike to implement robust cybersecurity measures, such as regularly updating software, backing up data, and educating users about phishing emails and suspicious websites, in order to minimize the risk of falling victim to this pervasive threat.