Of all the cybercriminal threats out there, being attacked by ransomware is among the most devastating. It spreads quickly throughout your network, is a nightmare to remove from your machines, and makes any encrypted files inaccessible until you pay the ransom. Unless you have copies of those infected files that you absolutely know to be untouched by the ransomware (and conventional backup solutions simply cannot assure that), you are basically out of luck.
In a nutshell, ransomware extortionists attack your computer network with malware that encrypts every file, and then demands a large ransom payment to a “darknet” site before the decryption key is provided. If you don’t promptly send payment, the criminals threaten to delete the decryption key and all your encrypted data will be lost forever. Usually the crooks supply the key after payment is received, but like any other extortionist, they may make further demands or just cut off further communication altogether.
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