Tech security firms have warned that the world’s array of internet connected devices are currently in the midst of a massive surge in the number ransomware attacks being distributed via junk mail.

This latest escalation in attempted cybercrime is mostly being blamed on the sudden rise of a new variant of ransomware commonly being referred to as Locky.

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The rapid growth of Locky has seen its reported use grow at a faster rate than was expected, causing surprise to some security experts, and has now become the second most seen form of ransomware currently doing the rounds.

And it’s not just Windows based operating systems that are vulnerable.

Apple Mac owners have also been warned that their iOS based machines are now just as likely to fall prey to the latest strain of ransomware.

Some experts have stated that the sheer increase in volume of the number of reported  cyber-attacks seeking to extort users has increased greatly since the start of 2016.

The Locky ransomware program works in pretty much the same manner as many other ransomware offerings.

It first of all installs itself quietly, hoping to avoid detection, and then encrypts all the data on the infected machine, and then demands a payment from the unsuspecting user, before providing the user with a decryption key.

If there is honor among thieves, then the key will normally un-encrypt a user’s details. If they are not however, then the user will remain locked out from their equipment, and also down a substantial amount of money.

At the time of writing, Locky is asking for 3 bitcoins, which is in around $900-$1000.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious code that gets into a computer or a server and disables access to files by encrypting (or locking) them. The code then presents the computer user with a demand to pay a ransom to unlock the files.