What is Ransomeware? How cyber thieves are tacking advantage of the pandemic.

Have you ever heard of the term Ransomeware? If you have or have not, by definition it is a type of malware from crypto virology that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid (Fruhlinger 2020). Whew! That was a mouthful. In simpler terms, it can be described as a malicious virus that takes over a user’s data and then demands a payment in return for the restoration of those locked files. So how exactly are cyber thieves, or “hackers”, taking advantage of the current Covid-19 pandemic? They are going after the small businesses and institutions that are relying heavily on internet and computers in order to proceed their lines of work. For example, Universities and Law Firms are being targeted for larger amounts of payment that they are having to pay because their business relies solely on the sensitive data they have stored via servers. Not to mention, these attacks can cost small businesses up to $713,000 per incident! There are 5 tips, according to Daniel Mateos, author of Security Boulevard article (Mateos 2019). They include:

1. Install antivirus software

2. Avoid suspicious emails and links

3. Backup your data

4. Update your software

5. Don’t use torrents 

Ransomeware is a particularly scary form of malware that all users should be on the lookout for. Not only will it block access to your personal information, but also blackmail a person into paying a fee for retrieval of those locked and encrypted files. 


Fruhlinger, J. (2020, June 19). Ransomware explained: How it works and how to remove it. Retrieved August 27, 2020, from

Mateos, D., Marc Wilczek | 12 hours ago, Yesterday, M., Chris Carreiro | 2 days ago, Richi Jennings | 2 days ago, 21, M., & 21, R. (2019, October 29). 5 Ways to Avoid a Ransomware Attack. Retrieved August 27, 2020, from

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Isaac Flores

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