Ransomware is software designed to block access to your computer device or system by encrypting files and demanding a payment for the unlock key.
This malware typically gets into your device or system through a phishing email or can be through a weakness in your software protection.
Once in, the malware encrypts everything it can find and then issues a warning that payment must be made (usually in Bitcoin) in order to get the decryption key necessary to restore your files.
Businesses and individuals with proper backups and security can usually get around the temporary inconvenience caused by the attack but for many it be a disaster and they have to choose whether to get in an expert to try to recover the systems or to pay the ransom and hope the criminals hand over the decryption key.
Statistics on how many people choose to pay the ransom are hard to find and vary from a few percent to more than half.
The general principle on ransom is to not pay as that would encourage the criminals to keep using the tactic.
There are cases where people chose to pay, only to receive a following larger demand and were never able to get the key.
In other case, people pay and do get the unlock key.
So, it can be a tricky choice – pay and hope to get the key or refuse and cope with the damage caused.
There is no certain answer to this problem, except protect your devices and systems so you never have to make the choice
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.