Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) that infects your system and takes control of your files and data. Once infected, companies ordinarily see a message displayed on devices explaining that files are inaccessible until a ransom is paid. Cybercriminals will demand payment in the form of a digital currency such as Bitcoin, as the transfer would be untraceable. The attacker often extracts a copy of the data that is used to further extort money from the victim, under threat of making the information public.
Ransomware is a fast-growing trend, both in the number of attacks and the value of ransom demands. In fact, it is becoming one of the most common forms of cybercrime. Ransomware attackers are typically either organized crime groups or, less frequently, state actors operating on behalf of governments.