Ransomware: How to Defend Against a Four-Decade Old Foe

The first documented attack may have occurred back in the late 1980s, yet ransomware is still topping the list of cyberthreats faced by both organisations and individuals today.

An ever-evolving form of malware, ransomware is designed to encrypt data files until the victim pays a fee to the attacker. In some cases, attackers also threaten to release copies of the files publicly unless payment is made.

During the past 40 years, ransomware has been constantly evolving both technically and organisationally. The tactic has now matured to the point where ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) providers offer access to tools that can allow people with little technical knowledge to launch attacks.