This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2003 issue of THE Journal.
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Ransomware has become a billion-dollar business, and all indications are that it will continue to grow rapidly. There is a good reason for this: ransomware attacks are simple and effective. Once ransomware—a type of malware—infects a device, it covertly encrypts data and renders files inaccessible. To free the system, the malware demands a ransom payment. You must choose: pay the ransom or attempt to recover your lost data through other means. Meanwhile, the ransomware may be spreading throughout your critical systems.