Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts the victim's files and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key.
Here's how it works:
- Infection: Ransomware typically infects a computer through a phishing email, a malicious website, or a software vulnerability. Once the ransomware is installed on the victim's computer, it starts encrypting files.
- Encryption: Ransomware uses a strong encryption algorithm to encrypt the victim's files, making them inaccessible. The encryption key is usually stored on the attacker's server.
- Ransom note: After the encryption process is complete, the ransomware displays a message on the victim's screen, demanding payment in exchange for the decryption key. The message usually includes instructions on how to pay the ransom, which is typically in the form of cryptocurrency.
- Payment: If the victim decides to pay the ransom, they must transfer the cryptocurrency to the attacker's wallet. Once the payment is received, the attacker sends the decryption key to the victim, allowing them to recover their files.
- Decryption: The victim can then use the decryption key to decrypt their files and regain access to their data.
It's important to note that paying the ransom does not guarantee that the attacker will provide the decryption key, and it also encourages further attacks. The best way to protect against ransomware is to regularly back up important files and keep software up to date with the latest security patches.