Ransomware is a type of malware that denies access to a computer or its data and demands a ransom (money to release it) Money is usually bit coin so it cannot be traced back.
How does ransomware work?
When a computer is infected with ransomware it conects to a server to activate, and then begins encrypting data from the infected computer and sends it to the server. Once all the files are encrypted, it displays a message on the computer asking for payment to decrypt the files – and threatens to delete the data if it is not paid. In most cases a timer is used to add the urgency.
How does ransomware spread?
Most ransomware is spread hidden within email attachments like Word documents, PDFs and other files. Another way is via infected malware networks on computers already affected by viruses that offer a back door for further attacks.