What Is a Ransom Note?

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What Is a Ransom Note?

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Ransom Note Definition:

Short definition: A note (usually a text file) left on victim’s computer after a ransomwareinfection, which has instructions on what they must do to get their data back.

Extended definition:

A ransom note is tied to the main purpose of why a ransomware virus exists – to hold your data or whole device hostage until you pay the criminals huge amount of money in the form of BitCoin. Usually this note may appear in the form of a wallpaper, text message or an .HTM, .HTML or other forms of files that may lead to an offline web page with the ransom message. Few examples of those can be seen below:

Example 1: Ransom note as a program.

Example 1: Ransom note as a program.

Example 2: Ransom note as a text message

Example 2: Ransom note as a text message.

Example 3: Ransom note as an .HTA file.

Example 3: Ransom note as an .HTA file.

Example 4: Ransom note in Android device

Example 4: Ransom note in Android device.

Example 5: Ransom note shown on BOOT lockscreen (Preventing access to Windows).

As you can see from the example above, there are also different kinds of notes that appear on mobile devices and on Boot screen locks, preventing victims access to the whole computer by scrambling the BOOTMGR in Windows.

For more definitions, check our Cyber Dictionary.

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