Common Ransomware: What to Watch Out For - Digital Agent Blog
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Common Ransomware: What to Watch Out For

Common Ransomware: What to Watch Out For

ransomwareRansomware is a malicious program designed to lock you out of your device or block access to important files. The primary goal is to get you to pay a ransom — often hundreds or even thousands of dollars — in order to regain access. Unfortunately, the frequency of these attacks is increasing. Here is what you need to know about some of the most common types of ransomware.

Ransomware Types


CryptoLocker was one of the first high-profile ransomware attacks. Between 2013 and 2014 CryptoLocker extorted over $3 million from businesses and individuals. How does it work? By encrypting files on the targeted computer. The only way to regain access to the encrypted files is to pay a ransom. In return you get the private key necessary for decryption. Although this ransomware tactic is becoming obsolete, some hackers still use this simple approach.

CryLocker makes things a little more personal. Most variants of this ransomware scan your computer for data, create a personalized ransom note, and then lock you out of your computer entirely. You are then directed to pay a sum of money within 24 hours if you want to regain access.


Much like CryptoLocker and other forms of ransomware, Cerber relies on encryption and decryption to extort money from victims. The most sinister part of this ransomware is that it is available “for purchase.” This new model, termed Ransomware as a Service (RaaS), allows anyone to buy the ransomware and then spread it. You keep a 60% cut of the profits, while 40% goes back to the developer. This decentralized approach makes the perpetrators much harder to track down.


KeRanger works as most ransomware does, by encrypting files and then demanding payment. The big deal about this ransomware is that it is the first specifically designed to hop macOS’s gatekeeper technology, which prevents the installation of malware on the Mac. Over 7,000 Mac users have already been affected — forced to either pay a hefty ransom or lose access to important files.

One thing that most ransomware has in common is that once you’re infected, you’re left with few options. That is why you need to be proactive. The best way to protect against ransomware and other forms of cybercrime is with a comprehensive IT security solution. For more information on securing your network, contact Digital Agent today.