What is Ransomware and How to Protect Against it

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts media, document and other files on the target PC and access to those files is only granted once the attacker’s ransom demands are met.Christoph Scholz | FlickrCurrently, there are two types of ransomware — one which locks certain files on a computer and other which locks the entire system. The latter is mostly found on smartphones.Ransomware has been around for more than a decade now. The first instances of such an attack were found in Russia in 2005 with Trojan GPcoder.Early History: The Russian ConnectThe first known ransomware virus to create trouble on a large scale were developed by Russian organised criminals and came to the fore in 2005 and 2006.

These malware infected PCs in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. One of the strains of malware was called Archievus and another called Troj_Cryzip.A.While the former encrypted the ‘My Documents’ folder, the latter identified and moved certain file types in a PC to a password protected Zip folder, which would only be unlocked when the victim transferred a few hundred dollars to the attacker via E-Gold — electronic currency before Bitcoin.

Source: What is Ransomware and How to Protect Against it

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