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What is Ransomware?


Ransomware is malware that locks your keyboard or computer to prevent you from accessing your data until you pay a ransom. This digital shakedown isn't new, it has been around since 2005, but digital assailants have greatly improved their schemes with the development of ransom cryptware. Ransom cryptware encrypts your files using a private key that only the attackers possess, instead of locking your keyboard or computer. The most recent was a global cyber attack that spread ransomware to numerous computers over 150 countries.

These days ransomware doesn't just effect desktops or laptops, it now attacking mobile phones too. In 2014 nearly 900,000 Android phones were targeted by a form of ransomware called “ScarePackage,” according to The New York Times. The ScarePackage could also be downloaded on apps.


In 2015 the FBI issued an alert warning the all types of ransomware was on the rise. Individuals, businesses, government agencies, academic agencies, and law enforcement have all fallen victim to ransomware. This malware can infect you via a malicious email, or website, and a few other ways.


The newest ransomware scare called "WannaCry," is targeting the Microsoft Windows operating system, encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.


People need to stay safe, the following link is to an article by Wired magazine on 5 tools to help protect your electronics from ransomware.



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