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Ransomware 101: What is it, and how can you prevent it?

Image by kalhh from Pixabay

Cyberattacks using what’s called ransomware block access to computer systems unless a ransom is paid. They often target large computer networks within corporations or governments, but can also target individual users. According to Wikipedia there were more than 180-million ransomware attacks in the first six months of 2018. This is a 229% increase over the same time frame in 2017.

Lee County’s computer systems were recently taken down for five days by a cyberattack. And, although the county has not confirmed the exact nature of that attack, saying the investigation could take months, there is speculation it was one of these ransomware attacks.

So we’re sitting down with a Dr. Patrick Traynor, he is a professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the University of Florida, and co-director of the Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research, to learn about the threats these attacks pose to all computer systems, and ways to prevent them.