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What is Ransomware?

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Ransomware is a form of malware (malicious software), that would lock up a victim’s data or computing device. The attacker would threaten to keep the information locked or even deleted. The attacker would ransom the data back to the victim. It has been reported that 21% of all cyberattacks in 2022 are ransomware attacks.

Normally ransomware attacks would demand a ransom (a sum of money or other payment demanded in exchange for something to be released) however: more and more attackers are going further.

Several criminals are threatening double and triple extortion attacks. Demanding money or crypto currency to unlock the data as well as prevent the theft of the data in a different attack. Some criminals go as far as adding a threat of a DDoS attack.

A DDoS attack is A "distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic."

The increased availability of ransomware solutions, and the popularity of cryptocurrency as an untraceable form of payment have combined to fuel exponential growth in ransomware attacks, The FBI believes there is a 243% increase in the amount of ransomware attacks since 2013.

Ransomware victims are reluctant to disclose ransom payment amounts. However, ransom amounts range from the low tens of thousands all the way to 80 million USD, to have their data released back to them, the average cost of a ransomware attack not including the ransom payment is almost four and a half million USD.

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