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Virus software that blackmails users by locking them out of their computer or encrypting their computer's files in some manner. Also known as a "cryptovirus" or "cryptotrojan," a typical ransomware approach that takes only a few seconds to accomplish is to encrypt the indexes in the file system. This disables access to all the data and programs in the computer because the file system is the doorway to everything in storage (see file system). The ransomware then demands payment in Bitcoin to restore the data.

A favorite ploy is an FBI message claiming the user has child pornography on the computer, and a fine must be paid or else risk arrest. After paying the blackmail on any of these ransomware attacks, the user's machine may or may not be restored.

CryptoLocker - An Insipiration
In 2013, the creators of CryptoLocker collected millions in ransom by infecting Windows PCs until its distribution was halted a year later by the FBI and Interpol. CryptoLocker was the inspiration for other ransomware variants (gotta love that entrepreneurial spirit!). See Petya and WannaCry.

Mobile Phones Too
In 2014, using the same FBI scare tactic, thousands of Android users found their phones locked with demands for payment. See scareware and wares.

Even Cities
In 2019, two Florida cities paid their attackers more than $1 million to remove ransomware. Cybercrooks are increasingly asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars when they have breached a large organization or government entity. If there is any bright side to this, more organizations both public and private, are developing or improving their backup and recovery programs. See disaster recovery and cybercrime.

Ransomware Protection
As a result of this delightful phenomenon, numerous firms such as Trend Micro, Symantic, Malwarebytes and Avast Software have added ransomware protection in their lines of security products. See RaaS.

FBI MoneyPak Ransomware
Imagine finding your computer frozen with an FBI alert saying you violated one or more video, music or software copyrights or that you distributed child pornography. It demands that you put $200 cash into a MoneyPak card and enter the card number within 72 hours to unlock your computer as well as prevent the initiation of a criminal case.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Cryptolocker demands payment in bitcoins, which is a virtual currency, and many paid the ransom it demanded in the hope that the data it had encrypted would be unscrambled.
that Cryptolocker was likely to be used more and more by cyber-criminals, becasue of the anonymity afforded by using bitcoins for payment.
As the FBI.gov page on the disruption action notes, it is estimated that around $30 million was paid in CryptoLocker ransoms between September and December 2013 alone.
"CryptoLocker spreads through fake emails designed to
More information about Thirtyseven4's Behavior Detection System and how it prevents CryptoLocker and similar threats is available at: http://thirtyseven4.com/eps_bds.html
While customers turned to Kroll Ontrack to reverse the impact of viruses like CryptoLocker, data storage companies proactively looked to Kroll Ontrack in 2013 to do the reverse--test, validate and certify the effectiveness of the encryption integrated into storage products to ensure no one can get unauthorised access to the data.
They know what CryptoLocker viruses are, and what to do with them."
The next threat to the financial sector can be "Cryptolocker" scam where attacker pretend to be law enforcement and at the same time they will encrypt the user files and request for a ransom for the files that are encrypted [17].
If their operations are shut down for a week because they're locked out of their computer system in a ransomware or cryptolocker incident, that lost revenue could be crippling.
Some forms of ransomware had been given names like Reventon, Cryptolocker, Wannacry and Cryptowall.
In 2013, a file-encrypting ransomware attack dubbed "CryptoLocker" set off a whole new wave of ransomware, engendering copycat attacks like the CryptoWall and TeslaCrypt hacks that took in tens of thousands of dollars in ransom fees.

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