This definition explains the meaning of ransomware. Ransomware or ransom malware invades a system, encrypts computer files and locks legitimate users from accessing their own systems. Once attacked with file-encrypting ransomware, criminals will announce that they’re holding your corporate data hostage until you pay a ransom in order to get it back. Victims can often only regain access to their encrypted files and PCs by paying a ransom to the criminals. Ransomware first appeared in Australia in late 2012, when hackers claiming to be police demanded a “fine” to unlock data, all whilst claiming the user was under investigation of software piracy or child pornography.
There are two main forms of ransomware. The first locks your screen and keeps you from accessing your data and is generally easy to remove with antivirus software (or system restore). The second one is more destructive, it encrypts your assets and data, which makes it impossible to regain access, even after removing the virus. These more vicious versions require a password key which is very difficult to decipher.