What Filetypes Are Targeted by Ransomware?

File types targeted by ransomware

Ransomware typically targets a wide range of common file types, including but not limited to:

  • Office documents (such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files)
  • PDF files
  • Image files (such as JPEG, PNG, and BMP)
  • Audio files (such as MP3 and WAV)
  • Video files (such as MP4 and AVI)
  • Database files (such as SQL and Oracle files)
  • Archive files (such as ZIP and RAR)
  • Source code files (such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files)
  • Virtual machine files (such as VMDK and VDI)
  • Backup files (such as BAK and DAT)

It’s important to note that ransomware can also target other file types, depending on the specific variant of the malware and the attacker’s goals. It’s always a good idea to regularly back up important files and keep security software up to date to reduce the risk of a ransomware attack.

Ransomware typically targets these file types because they are commonly used by individuals and organisations, and often contain valuable or sensitive data. By encrypting these files, attackers can effectively hold the victim’s data hostage and demand payment in exchange for the decryption key.

Office documents, PDF files, images, and media files are among the most commonly used file types in both personal and professional settings. Database files often contain critical business data, while archive files can contain a large number of important files. Source code files are targeted because they may contain intellectual property that can be valuable to the victim.

Virtual machine and backup files can also be targeted, as they may contain a copy of important data that can be restored if the victim refuses to pay the ransom. However, if the attacker can encrypt these files before they can be backed up, it can make it much harder for the victim to recover their data.

Overall, ransomware attackers target a range of file types to maximise the potential impact of their attack and increase the likelihood that victims will pay the ransom.

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