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(also ransomware)

Cryptovirus definition

A cryptovirus is a type of malicious software that encrypts the victim's files, making them inaccessible until a ransom is paid. The attacker typically demands payment in cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, to ensure anonymity. Cryptoviruses are often delivered through phishing emails or exploited vulnerabilities in software and can cause substantial harm to individuals, businesses, and institutions.

See also: anti-phishing service, anti-malware, network intrusion protection system

Cryptovirus examples

  • WannaCry: A notorious cryptovirus that spread worldwide in May 2017, infecting more than 200,000 computers and causing disruptions in healthcare, transportation, and other industries.
  • Locky: A widespread cryptovirus that emerged in 2016, primarily distributed through malicious email attachments disguised as invoices, job offers, or other seemingly legitimate documents.

Protecting against cryptoviruses

  • Keep software and operating systems up to date with the latest patches and updates.
  • Use a reliable antivirus solution and enable real-time protection.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited emails, especially those with attachments or links.
  • Backup important files regularly to ensure recovery in case of an attack.
  • Use NordVPN to enhance your online security with features like Threat Protection Pro, which helps block phishing websites and malicious domains.