A cryptovirus is a kind of malware designed to encrypt the files on the victim’s system. The attacker will then demand a ransom, and the files will often remain inaccessible until the victim pays. The victims unwittingly encounter these crypto viruses either through gaps in their security or phishing emails.

Examples of Crypto Viruses

  • WannaCry: This infamous cryptovirus first appeared in May 2017 and spread to many industries, including transportation and healthcare. In the end, it effectively infected over 200,000 computers.
  • Locky: This cryptovirus would make its debut in 2016, and its propagation was helped along by email attachments, which were designed to look like legitimate documents such as job offers and invoices. 

How to stay safe from crypto viruses

  • Ensure your device’s operating system and any other software are regularly updated. 
  • Employ the use of premium antivirus software.
  • Exercise caution before opening any suspicious emails, and be extra careful if they contain attachments or links with instructions to click or open either of them.
  • Conduct regular backups especially of vital documents and files, to protect them from attacks.