How does Ransomware Work?

How does ransomware work?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files, making them inaccessible until a ransom is paid to the attackers. There are several steps involved in a typical ransomware attack:

  1. Delivery: The ransomware is typically delivered through email attachments, malicious websites, or drive-by downloads. It can also be delivered through exploit kits that take advantage of vulnerabilities in software or operating systems.

  2. Execution: Once the ransomware has been delivered, it will typically execute itself on the victim’s device. This can involve creating a new process, modifying system settings, or installing additional software.

  3. Encryption: Once it has been executed, the ransomware will begin encrypting the victim’s files using a strong encryption algorithm. The attackers will typically use a unique encryption key for each victim, which is stored on the attackers’ server.

  4. Demand: After the files have been encrypted, the ransomware will display a message to the victim, demanding payment in exchange for the decryption key. The ransom amount can vary, but it is typically in the range of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

  5. Payment: If the victim decides to pay the ransom, they will typically be instructed to transfer the payment to the attackers through a secure payment platform, such as Bitcoin.

  6. Decryption: If the victim pays the ransom, the attackers will typically provide them with the decryption key, which will allow the victim to decrypt their files and regain access to them. However, there is no guarantee that the attackers will actually provide the decryption key, even if the ransom is paid.

Overall, ransomware is a highly effective and lucrative form of malware that can cause significant damage to individuals and organizations. It is important to take steps to protect against ransomware attacks, such as keeping software and operating systems up to date, using antivirus software, and regularly backing up important data.