The last 12 months has seen a large increase in the number of institutes, such as universities and NHS trusts have suffered many attacks. This has been taken by some sections of the press to indicate that they are being targeted by Ransomware attacks.
The reality is that most ransomware attacks are suffered by ordinary home users, with Mac users a growing target. The latest versions include data encryption which mean that the data must be decrypted for it can be recovered.
The temptation is to pay the ransom in order to get the data back, but not only does it not guarantee any results, it encourages the ransomware developers to continue their illegal activities. The TOR browser has become popular with many users wishing to maintain their anonymity, but it is now also a target for the distribution of ransomware.
It is difficult to gauge the number of ransomware attacks which are being suffered as an unknown number will go unreported, partly due to possible loss of reputation and some through not knowing who to report it to.
It is important to actively protect your data, a comprehensive backup strategy. Ransomware is still relatively rare and should be easily avoidable, but it takes one slip and your computer could be another victim.