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In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By kryoung
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Ransomware is a type of malware that limits access to a computer system that it affects. Just as its name goes, it then asks for ransom payment to pay to its creator in order for the limitation to be taken away. Some of these malwares encrypt files on the hard drive while others just lock up the system and display messages persuading the user to pay the ransom (Michael). There are two types of ransomware, one that locks the screen and displays a message that prevents you from accessing the computer, and the other that encrypts files on a systems hard drive and prevents one from opening them (Blue).

The first known ransomware was written by Joseph Popp in 1989 and was known as PC Cyborg or “AIDS.” This malicious software presented itself to the user as an expired software license and told users to send money. This malware would demand US$189 for it to unlock the system (Michael). There was another ransomware known as Krotten that appeared in 2006 which disabled all files and displayed the text in German.

Winlock originated in Russia in 2010 and did not use encryption. This one would limit access to the computer and display pornographic materials. This one specifically attacked Russia in a very big way. The users of the computers would need to buy some unlocking codes in order to gain access to their computer. Ten individuals were arrested in 2010 concerning their involvement in this ransomware (McMillan). It earned the operators of Winlock US$16 million.

A worm that was similar to Windows Production Activation appeared in 2011 and told Windows users that the windows installation had to be re-activated because the user had been a victim of fraud. It gave a user an option of online installation but the user could not access it so they were required to call an international number and input a 6-digit code. They said...

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