Cyber experts are worried about the rise of ransomware, which are “malicious programs that hold computers and mobile phones to ransom.”

Currently there are a number of different types of ransomware on the market ranging from programs that impersonate police agencies and ask users to pay fictitious fines in order to regain control of their computers to much more aggressive programs that “encrypt users’ files with strong cryptographic algorithms, making it impossible to recover them in the absence of unaffected backups or without paying for the decryption keys.”

Security experts warn that the industry has failed to stop ransomware by failing to develop any products to defend against such attacks. “I think it’s a very serious problem. It’s going to stay with us and we need to think about new techniques to stop it,” said Adi Shamir, co-inventor of the widely used RSA cryptosystem. Shamir went on to say that today ransomware can target your computer or mobile device but it won’t be long until smart TVs and other Internet of Things devices will also be held to ransom.

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