ransomware

play
noun ran·som·ware \ ˈran(t)-səm-ˌwer \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of ransomware

:malware that requires the victim to pay a ransom to access encrypted files
  • In September of 2013, security for small accounting offices changed forever with the appearance of a new class of threats called ransomware. … you open a file attached to an innocent-looking e-mail, and the program encrypts key files and drives so they cannot be accessed. The files are locked until you pay a ransom.
  • —Dave Mcclure
  • With ransomware, a hacker slips into a system, then puts encryption controls in place that locks users out. The hackers then demand money to "unlock" the data.
  • —Elizabeth Millard
  • Today's ransomware scammers often demand payment in bitcoin because the digital currency is easy to use, fast and provides a heightened anonymity for the scammers, according to the FBI warning.
  • —Susan Tompor

First Known Use of ransomware

2005


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ransomware? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!