Cartwright IT

Ransomware – A Real Threat?

Ransomware – A Real Threat?

Ransomware is perhaps a term you have heard mentioned on the TV or radio, but do you really know what it is and what the real threat is to your home PC/laptop or worse yet your business device?

Basically ransomware can be thought of as malicious computer software, installed on your laptop or PC, without your knowledge which allows hackers to take complete control of your device. The software is often delivered to your PC via an innocent looking email, with an attachment, which when opened infects your computer with the ransomware app or software. Once activated and installed, the software begins to encrypt the files on your device rendering them inaccessible to you. More often than not a message will eventually be displayed advising you to pay an amount of money to an unidentifiable source. The message will claim that once the sum is paid, your PC or laptop will be unlocked.

Although ransomware has become a mainstream term quite recently, such software has actually been used since the early 90’s by unscrupulous criminal attempting to extort money out of unsuspecting users.

In 2017 the UK’s very own institution, the NHS was attacked with a widespread ransomware attack, affecting thousands of PC’s across the estate (as well as many other business devices). It later transpired that this attack was so successful because a lot of NHS PC’s and other business PC’s were using an outdated version of Windows with out of date security software.

We would always advise keeping your business and home devices up to date with the latest security patches and security software. If you would like any advice regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mike Cartwright


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