Ransomware is a malware that prevents or restricts users from accessing computer systems.  Hackers will 

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a malware that prevents or restricts users from accessing computer systems.  Hackers will infect and intrude into target computer systems via emails, websites or malicious advertisements.  With ransomware installed on computers or other devices within the network, certain files such as document files, spreadsheets, digital photos, etc. will be encrypted and become inaccessible to the users.  A message will then appear on victims’ computers, demanding ransom payments in Bitcoin in exchange for the decryption key.

WannaCry, a ransomware, was distributed on the Internet worldwide in 2017.  The infected computers displayed a ransom note with red background to notify the victims to pay in Bitcoins for decryption.

(Photo captured from Wikipedia)

Ransomware tactics evolve over time.  In recent years, hackers have started to use a new tactic, namely, double extortion, to attack.  After infecting the target computer system with the aforementioned tactics and making it inaccessible to the victim, the hacker would extract sensitive information of the victim.   If the victim refuses to pay the ransom, he/she may not be able to decrypt the files, and the stolen files may also be made public on the Internet.

In early 2021, an overseas computer manufacturer was attacked by ransomware and demanded a ransom of nearly 400 million Hong Kong dollars.

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