The Anatomy of a Ransomware Attack

Learn More About This Common Cyber Security Threat

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key.

It’s important to note that even if the victim pays the ransom, there is no guarantee that the attacker will provide the decryption key, or that the decryption key will be successful in recovering the victim’s data.

Additionally, paying the ransom may encourage attackers to continue carrying out similar attacks in the future.

Therefore, it’s important to have strong security measures in place to prevent ransomware attacks from occurring in the first place, such as regular backups, patching software vulnerabilities, and employee training on how to identify and avoid phishing attacks.

The Six Stages of a Ransomware Attack

Initial Access

Ransomware attacks typically start with the attacker gaining initial access to the victim’s network or system. This may be done through various methods such as phishing emails, exploiting vulnerabilities in software, or using stolen credentials.


Once the attacker has gained access, they deploy the ransomware onto the victim’s network or system. This may be done using various methods such as malicious email attachments, drive-by downloads, or exploiting software vulnerabilities.


Once the ransomware has been deployed, it begins encrypting the victim’s data, making it inaccessible to the victim. This may involve encrypting individual files or entire systems.

Ransom Note

After encrypting the victim’s data, the attacker typically displays a ransom note, informing the victim that their data has been encrypted and demanding payment in exchange for the decryption key. The ransom note may be displayed on the victim’s screen or delivered via email.


If the victim chooses to pay the ransom, they typically have to follow a set of instructions provided by the attacker to make the payment, which is usually in cryptocurrency. The attacker then provides the decryption key, allowing the victim to recover their data.


Once the victim has received the decryption key, they can begin recovering their data. However, recovery may not always be successful, and some data may be permanently lost.

Protect Your Business From Ransomware Attacks

NTS is your consistent and reliable partner for cyber security. Get the tools and expertise needed to protect your organization against ransomware and more.

Our team will jump in to save your data and always has a cyber security plan. Sleep better at night knowing your business’s IT is in capable hands.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can be proactive against ransomware attacks.

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