Ransomware has been a prominent threat in cybersecurity for more than a decade, but the rates of incidents are showing slight decline. The Avast Q1/2023 Threat Report examines why.
What’s on your computer right now?
Let’s make a list. Start with every work-related document you’ve used or created in the last six months. After that, perhaps your monthly budgets, pictures from your last vacation, all your passwords (in a vault, we hope), email attachments, bank statements, insurance information, your browser bookmarks, and that novel you haven’t finished.
Now let’s say you logged in tomorrow and found all that information gone, with a note on your desktop from a hacker instructing you on how to make payment to get your data back.
This is ransomware, and it’s the category of malware that encrypts a victim’s data and demands payment in exchange for a decryption key. The attack renders documents, photos, videos, databases, and other files on a computer or network useless, and frequently threatens to delete the data entirely.