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What You Need to Know About Ransomware

A security camera stands outside the main Telefonica headquarters in Madrid, Spain, May 12, 2017. The Spanish government said several companies including Telefonica had been targeted in ransomware cyberattack that affected the Windows operating system of employees' computers.
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An aggressive wave of cyberattacks hit companies and public institutions around the globe Friday, causing international havoc and bringing many services to a standstill.

Computers were locked up and users’ files held for ransom when dozens of countries were hit in a cyberextortion attack that targeted hospitals, companies and government agencies.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that attempts to extort a computer user for money. In some cases, the ransomware encrypts certain files and holds them hostage.

In other cases, as happened Friday, it locks a user out of their entire computer system until a ransom is paid. Some ransomware that encrypts files increases the stakes after a few days, demanding more money and threatening to delete files altogether.

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