Ransomware (also known as encryption Trojans or blackmail Trojans) are a specific family of malware which encrypts data on the victim's computer and on network shares, thereby making the data unusable for the victim. The ransomware subsequently displays a "locked screen" to the victim requesting that the victim pay a specific sum in the form of bitcoins (internet currency) to the attackers so that the data can be decrypted. The ransomware scene is continually expanding and the current versions are potentially much more damaging than the initial versions, which just blocked the screen without damaging data. The gateway for encryption Trojans such as these are contaminated e-mails and hacked websites.
Effects and risks
- Rendering data unusable on the computer
- Financial loss in the event of payment of the ransom