Ransomware is any software that allows a third party to access and encrypt another’s files, delete the originals, then threaten to delete the only remaining (encrypted) copy of the files if the ransom is not paid. In the movies, the user deploying the ransomware is typically portrayed as a hardened criminal.
But truthfully, ransomware is simply a product—usually found on the internet—that one can learn to use easily. In other words, ransomware attacks are very common, and can be debilitating to files in the victim’s cloud.
Ransomware attacks happen quickly. Before you realize there is a threat, the hackers have stolen information, encrypted valuable files and are demanding a ransom be paid to release those files back to you. Usually, the hacker will demand a certain amount in Bitcoin, but paying the ransom doesn’t always minimize the damage. It can take weeks after a ransomware attack to fully assess the damage done in the four phases of a ransomware attack.