Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) designed to block access to a computer system or its data until a ransom is paid.
It does this by encrypting files on the infected computer, making them inaccessible. To regain access to the files, the user must pay the attacker a ransom in exchange for a decryption key that unlocks the files. Ransomware can also be used to lock a computer’s screen, preventing the user from doing anything until the ransom is paid. Ransomware is typically spread through phishing emails, malicious downloads, and compromised websites.