Types of Ransomware Attacks To Look Out For

Given that businesses today, regardless of size or industry, rely on some sort of computer system to operate, cybersecurity is a prevalent concern. Securing your data against the threat of cybercriminals is crucial to protect your customers’ and employees’ information, as well as sensitive information about your business. Whether it be financial records, business plans, or new product information, businesses can’t afford for their data to be compromised. 

For vulnerable businesses, ransomware attacks can strike at any time and leave a lasting mark. Here, we’ll go over the main types of ransomware attacks so that you can better protect yourself against cybersecurity threats. Keep in mind that with cybersecurity experts by your side, you’ll have a long-term strategy for ransomware protection. 

Defining Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that pervades a computer system and encrypts data files. Once the ransomware has infiltrated the victim’s system, the hacker holds the data for ransom, only returning data access to the victim once a payment has been made. 

At this point, the victim will be provided with instructions to make the payment and receive the decryption key. In a ransomware attack, a hacker may demand hundreds or thousands of dollars, and the payment must typically be made in Bitcoin. 

How Does Ransomware Reach My System?

Hackers can use a few different methods for ransomware to overtake your system. For one, they may use phishing spam. This common type of cyberattack comes in the form of an email with attachments pretending to come from a trusted source. Once the victim opens the email, downloads the attachments, and opens the attachments, the ransomware can overtake the victim’s computer.

Types of Ransomware Attacks

Many types of ransomware attacks have spread throughout the world in previous years, the most significant of which we’ll list below. By knowing these ransomware attack types, you have more information with which to protect your own information. 


WannaCry is an internationally-known ransomware type that’s hit more than 125,000 entities across the globe. In fact, the organizations affected by WannaCry spanned 150 countries. WannaCry is now a highly recognizable ransomware attack around the world. 

It was crafted to abuse a weakness in the Windows system by an entity dubbed the “United States National Security Agency”. The healthcare industry was hit particularly hard by WannaCry, and the attack brought attention to the out-of-date systems used by hospitals globally. Billions of dollars were lost at the hands of WannaCry, making it one of the most destructive ransomware attacks in recent years. 


Locky is a ransomware attack that was introduced in 2016. It infiltrated victims’ computer systems using phishing; false emails were sent to victims claiming to hold an invoice. Once the victims downloaded and opened the “invoice”, it was deleted automatically. Then, the victims were instructed to enable macros in order to view the attachment. Once macros were enabled, the Locky software was able to encrypt files with AES encryption. 


Cerber is a destructive ransomware type known for having a decryptor for every variant that works in 12 separate languages. With this flexibility, Cerber opened up the opportunity for creators to develop affiliate systems. So, creators could generate large sums of money on the side from their own cyber attacks.

The Cerber software specifically targeted users on Office 365 using an advanced phishing campaign. Millions of people and organizations have already fallen victim to Cerber. 


GoldenEye is related to Petya, a well-known ransomware attack that emerged in 2016. Using a large-scale social engineering campaign, GoldenEye sought out human resource departments as targets. Once the victim downloaded the file with GoldenEye ransomware, a macro launched and began to encrypt the victims’ data. 


Jigsaw is a type of ransomware that encrypts, then gradually deletes, encrypted files until the victim pays the ransom. Files are deleted one at a time, hour by hour, for 72 hours, at which point all of the files are deleted. This creates additional stress for the victim. This ransomware type was dubbed “Jigsaw” for its inclusion of an image of the puppet from the Saw movies. To protect your home or business against ransomware, contact Inletware today. We’ll help you out a comprehensive cybersecurity plan in place.


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