Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts the files on an endpoint device, such as a computer or smartphone, and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key.
Once the ransomware infects the device, it can:
- Encrypt files: Ransomware encrypts the files on the endpoint device, making them inaccessible to the user. The files are locked with a unique encryption key that only the attacker possesses.
- Display a ransom note: Ransomware displays a ransom note on the device, informing the user that their files have been encrypted and demanding payment in exchange for the decryption key. The note may also threaten to delete the files if the ransom is not paid.
- Disable security software: Ransomware may disable security software on the endpoint device, making it easier for the attacker to carry out their attack.
- Spread to other devices: Ransomware can spread to other devices on the same network, infecting them and encrypting their files as well.
- Cause system crashes: Ransomware can cause system crashes and other performance issues on the endpoint device, making it difficult or impossible to use.
Overall, ransomware can cause significant damage to endpoint devices and can result in the loss of important data and financial loss for the victim. It is important to take steps to prevent ransomware attacks, such as keeping software up to date and avoiding suspicious emails and websites.