By Kim Zetter, Wired.com, May 16, 2017 

RANSOMWARE IS MALWARE that locks your keyboard or computer to prevent you from accessing your data until you pay a ransom, usually demanded in Bitcoin.

The digital extortion racket is not new—it’s been around since about 2005, but attackers have greatly improved on the scheme with the development of ransom cryptware, which encrypts your files using a private key that only the attacker possesses, instead of simply locking your keyboard or computer. Most recently, a global cyberattack spread ransomware to countless computers over 150 countries.

And these days ransomware doesn’t just affect desktop machines or laptops; it also targets mobile phones.

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