Ransomware is a popular malware affecting Windows computers or Windows systems. However, it can also affect Mac systems and iOS devices.

Ransomware continues to grow; it has been recognized as viral since 2000 but, in reality, it has had many types of victims for more than 30 years.

It is considered that the first attack of this kind was in 1989 by Dr. Joseph Popp. He offered the virus camouflaged on a diskette with information on AIDS. But, he stored a ransomware that encrypted filenames on the victim’s computer, and it requested a ransom of $189 (currently $391), an event remembered as the AIDS Trojan (or PC Cyborg).

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Ransomware definition

Ransomware is a malicious software, also known as malware, in charge of kidnapping files, reaching full control of the device, including smartphones. Cybercriminals use this type of malware attack to demand a ransom in exchange for releasing or decrypting the files. Usually through large monetary sums in cryptocurrencies.

The difference is that, today, a ransomware attack will be easier to execute. In an interconnected world, these malware are open sourced, so it is very easy to break into any computer, not to mention the large sums of money that attackers receive and the large losses of the victims.

These ransomware can be considered as references to determine their differences:

-WannaCry: worm style. It spreads automatically in the system. Many suffered its consequences, in May 2017 it reached the entire planet, attacking more than 100 million users.

-Popcorn Time: it spreads by user action. These hackers took it further, demanding the victims to pay what was requested, and files would be released.

-GandCrab: used a RaaS service, a type of ransomware that rented its platform to apprentice cybercriminals in order to receive part of the profits.

There is a solution, but the type of ransomware and the affected device will determine this. Although it may be considered easy to remove the malware, it would be difficult to recover encrypted files. On the other hand, it is not advisable to negotiate with cybercriminals; it does not ensure the recovery of the files. This would make them believe that it is a viable business, and they will continue to develop illicit systems, as well as making profits that they can use for further harmful activities.

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ransomware definition

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