Ransomware has become one of the most popular and destructive attacks in cyber security in recent years. Instead of stealing data as in most other attacks, the goal of ransomware is to hold the user’s data hostage by making it unusable until a ransom fee is paid. This is accomplished by encrypting the victim’s machine with an encryption key that the attackers then offer to sell back to the victim in exchange for cryptocurrency. The attack is easy once attackers have a foothold and requires little effort to execute, making this method much more cost efficient than other attacks. While ransomware can be thwarted by simply replacing the encrypted machine with a backup image, many organizations do not have the backups and are increasingly paying the ransom rather than accepting the massive data loss, increasing the success rate and popularity of this attack.
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