By Haleema Zia
Ransomware is a kind of malware that makes files or data on a victim’s computer or other devices inaccessible and then demands a ransom in the form of online payment, gift vouchers, or cryptocurrency to restore accessibility or functionality of the system. Ransomware is a digital form of extortion and is tantamount to the criminal practice of illegally obtaining money or its equivalence from individuals or organizations. Cybercrime has drastically increased in recent years due to rapid transformations in communication modes, advanced applications, and operating systems. Hackers, criminal groups, underground gangs, and terrorist networks are carrying out ransomware attacks in an organized way. Many ransomware services have also been introduced for such groups with malicious intent to provide them ease in carrying out ransomware activities and launching attacks. Ransomware attacks are widely spreading because of the advanced technologies and strategies and also due to the lack of awareness of internet users. The previous studies on ransomware are conducted in the context of computer sciences and security and the public policy perspective has been largely ignored. This paper highlights ransomware attacks and their impacts on national security issues and society. It is focused on finding a way to detect and prevent ransomware attacks. The perpetrators behind ransomware have done extreme damage to critical infrastructures and are collecting billions of dollars from the victims worldwide. Ransomware has deeply impacted sensitive data and systems and has challenged national security organizations and agencies. It is deeply affecting society, industries, government, corporate sector, law enforcement agencies, and individuals including the general public. Therefore, it is important to conduct in-depth research and set up a strategic defense for fighting against ransomware.
About the author(s)
Haleema Zia is a cybersecurity Researcher at the Global Foundation for Cyber Studies and Research. She is also working as an Assistant Editor of Cyber Insights Magazine. She is a contributing author of Eurasia Review, Strafasia, and Global Village Space.