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Ransomware is one of the most prevalent cyber threats organizations face today. A growing number of high-profile ransom attacks on critical infrastructure, private companies, and municipalities have made headlines in 2021.

It encrypts files and blocks access to them until the victim pays a ransom. Some variants will also delete backup and shadow copies of encrypted data, making recovery difficult without the attacker-controlled decryption key.

Infected devices typically scan the local device and network-connected storage to determine which files are at risk of encryption. This means any device that connects to the internet is a potential target, as well as any network-connected storage that has not been updated with security patches or is not protected by an effective anti-malware solution.

The most common form of ransomware encrypts files, locking them until payment is received. These types of malware have a high impact on business operations, as they can lock vital files and prevent users from accessing their systems and getting back to work.

File encrypting ransomware: This is the most dangerous type of ransomware, as it encrypts a user’s entire hard drive and blocks all access to the data. Once a user pays the ransom, they are guaranteed to get their data back – if the cybercriminals have indeed received it.

Law enforcement ransomware:

Historically, many law enforcement-themed ransomware variants have claimed to be law enforcement agencies and demanded payment for crimes the victim committed. This is a ruse to make the victim more likely to pay up and avoid legal action. But most of these attacks are simply a way to steal sensitive information or lock out the computer.