Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. The attackers then demand a ransom from the victim to restore access to the files; hence the name ransomware.
There are several ways that ransomware can infect a system:
- Phishing emails: Attackers may send an email that appears to be from a legitimate sender, but contains a link or attachment that, when clicked, installs the ransomware on the victim’s computer.
- Malvertising: Attackers may use online advertising to deliver ransomware. When a user clicks on an ad, the ransomware is installed on their computer.
- Exploit kits: Attackers may use exploit kits to scan a victim’s computer for vulnerabilities and then use those vulnerabilities to install the ransomware.
- Drive-by downloads: Attackers may set up a website that automatically downloads the ransomware to a user’s computer when they visit the site.
Once the ransomware is installed on the victim’s computer, it will begin encrypting files. The victim will then see a ransom note with instructions on how to pay the ransom (usually in the form of a digital currency such as Bitcoin) to get the decryption key. If the victim does not pay the ransom, they will not be able to access their files.
It is important to note that paying the ransom does not guarantee that the victim will get their files back. Some attackers may simply take the ransom and not provide the victim with the decryption key. It is always best to have backups of your important files, so that you can restore them if they are lost or encrypted by ransomware.