What Is Ransomware?

Computer Ransomware Definition

Ransomware programs are computer viruses that restrict access to data by modifying computer operating system configuration files. Certain families of ransomware also encrypt user data files to further help their goal of blackmailing unsuspecting computer users. Once a ransomware program has compromised a computer system and locked the user out of their files and programs, it then demands payment for granting the user access to their files and applications. The payments must be made through MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload or through some other funds transfer service that can be used anonymously by the ransomware developer.

Detailed Ransomware definition:

Ransomware are programs that take your computer hostage with the intention of forcing you to pay money before they will allow you access to your data files and programs. They literally hold your computer and it's data files hostage by modifying the computer's behavior which includes:

  1. Preventing or limiting access to web browsers that could be used to download virus removal tools. In most cases the ransomware will only allow access to sites that may need to be utilized to transfer funds to the developer online.
  2. Terminating non essential user applications and processes.
  3. Encrypting, hiding or simply renaming user data files to prevent you from being able to access your important data.

How can a computer acquire ransomware?

  1. You may unintentionally install ransomware programs by falling prey to deceptive online advertisements that state various security related warnings.
  2. Ransomware may installed without your consent or knowledge through drive-by installs when you visit compromised or malicious websites.
  3. Your computer could be compromised by ransomware if you install a free downloaded program that has ransomware bundled with it.
  4. You accidentally open an infected e-mail attachment or you follow a malicious website link.
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