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Ransomware information


Ransomware is a type of cryptovirological malware that permanently block access to the victim's personal data unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system without damaging any files, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion. It encrypts the victim's files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them.[1][2][3][4][5] In a properly implemented cryptoviral extortion attack, recovering the files without the decryption key is an intractable problem, and difficult-to-trace digital currencies such as paysafecard or Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are used for the ransoms, making tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators difficult.

Ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan disguised as a legitimate file that the user is tricked into downloading or opening when it arrives as an email attachment. However, one high-profile example, the WannaCry worm, traveled automatically between computers without user interaction.[6]

Starting as early as 1989 with the first documented ransomware known as the AIDS trojan, the use of ransomware scams has grown internationally.[7][8][9] There were 181.5 million ransomware attacks in the first six months of 2018. This record marks a 229% increase over this same time frame in 2017.[10] In June 2014, vendor McAfee released data showing that it had collected more than double the number of ransomware samples that quarter than it had in the same quarter of the previous year.[11] CryptoLocker was particularly successful, procuring an estimated US$3 million before it was taken down by authorities,[12] and CryptoWall was estimated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to have accrued over US$18 million by June 2015.[13] In 2020, the IC3 received 2,474 complaints identified as ransomware with adjusted losses of over $29.1 million. The losses could be more than that, according to the FBI.[14] Globally, according to Statistica, there were about 623 million ransomware attacks in 2021, and 493 million in 2022.[15]

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference young was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference schofield was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Mimoso, Michael (28 March 2016). "Petya Ransomware Master File Table Encryption". threatpost.com. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  4. ^ Justin Luna (21 September 2016). "Mamba ransomware encrypts your hard drive, manipulates the boot process". Newlin. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  5. ^ Min, Donghyun; Ko, Yungwoo; Walker, Ryan; Lee, Junghee; Kim, Youngjae (July 2022). "A Content-Based Ransomware Detection and Backup Solid-State Drive for Ransomware Defense". IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems. 41 (7): 2038–2051. doi:10.1109/TCAD.2021.3099084. ISSN 0278-0070. S2CID 237683171.
  6. ^ Cameron, Dell (13 May 2017). "Today's Massive Ransomware Attack Was Mostly Preventable; Here's How To Avoid It". Gizmodo. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference tw-russia was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ "New Internet scam: Ransomware..." FBI. 9 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Citadel malware continues to deliver Reveton ransomware..." Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). 30 November 2012.
  10. ^ "Ransomware back in big way, 181.5 million attacks since January". Help Net Security. 11 July 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Update: McAfee: Cyber criminals using Android malware and ransomware the most". InfoWorld. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Cryptolocker victims to get files back for free". BBC News. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  13. ^ Cite error: The named reference ars-fbicryptowall was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  14. ^ "Internet Crime Report 2020" (PDF). Ic3.gov. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  15. ^ "Number of ransomware attacks per year 2022". Statista. Retrieved 4 June 2023.

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