Ransomware can be devastating to individuals, organizations and even entire municipalities or countries. Because they continue to be successful, these financially motivated attacks are becoming increasingly common. Verizon’s “2023 Data Breach Investigations Report” found ransomware was involved in 24% of all breaches, and Sophos’ “The State of Ransomware 2023” reported 66% of organizations experienced a ransomware attack in the past year, with 76% of those attacks resulting in data encryption.
Encyrptors are one of the most well-known and popular damaging variants. This type encrypts the files and data within a system, making the content inaccessible and decryption is impossible without private key.
Lockers completely lock you out of your system, so your files and applications are inaccessible. A lock screen displays the ransom demand, possibly with a countdown clock to increase urgency and drive victims to act.
Scareware is fake software that claims to have detected a virus on your computer and directs you to pay the ransom. Some types of scareware lock the computer, while others simply flood the screen with pop-up alerts.
Leakware threatens to distribute sensitive information online, and many people panic and pay the ransom to prevent private data from falling into the wrong hands or entering the public domain. One variation is police-themed ransomware.