Several years ago, hackers were programming viruses only to demonstrate their skills. Today it’s all about money. Widely spread spyware parasites and information stealing trojans are the perfect examples. However, it looks like that a new kind of malware is on the rise. Reputable security experts call it “ransomware”.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that threatens to do something terrible (delete user sensitive information, destroy the entire system, encrypt vital data or steal confidential documents) and demands the victim to pay up. If the victim pays the ransom, the author of ransomware completely removes the threat and restores victim information. Leastwise promises to do so.

The approach of ransomware is not new. Similar threats were known back in 1989. However, we did not hear a lot about such kind of malware all this time. However, last year, hackers began making new ransomware parasites. In 2006, several threats gone wild. Some users really paid the ransom. This made malicious persons to believe in success of ransomware resulting in appearance of new parasites of this type. The latest is Ransom, the trojan, which threatens to delete user files until the user pays up.

Virus experts and security professionals concern that this year we may see the beginning of a growing trend of ransomware. The possible combination of ransomware parasites and rapidly spreading Internet worms can start a new era of malware that not only damages the system, but also destroys all user sensitive information.

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