What is Ransomware?

What is Ransomware

Aimed at:  Edinburgh Napier’s staff & students

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that seeks to infect and take control of a computer, encrypting files and documents stored locally and on network shares. 

The ransomware may lock the computer, prevent normal usage or encrypt the documents and files on it, preventing access. Ransomware is becoming an increasingly popular way for malware authors to extort money from companies and individuals alike.

Ransomware image

Once the encryption process has completed, a ransom demand will be displayed, usually via a text file placed alongside the now unreadable documents or as a webpage in the web browser. This type of malware instructs its victims to pay the ransom through certain online payment methods, usually Bitcoin, in order to restore access to their systems or data.

The ransom prices vary, ranging from £20 to more than £5,000. It is important to note, however, that paying the ransom does not guarantee that users will be granted access to their systems or data.

Ransomware spreads through e-mail attachments, infected programs and compromised websites

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