Ransomware is a form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering them and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption. Over time, malicious actors have adjusted their ransomware tactics to be more destructive and impactful and have also exfiltrated victim data and pressured victims to pay by threatening to release the stolen data. The application of both tactics is known as “double extortion.” In some cases, malicious actors may exfiltrate data and threaten to release it as their sole form of extortion without employing ransomware.
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