Now cybersecurity researchers warn that new ransomware features could make life even worse for victims. Rather than just encrypting key files, ransomware could soon infect a computer to such an extent that the only two options available to the user would be to pay, or to lose access to the entire system.
According to the Malwarebytes State of Malware Report 2017
, we're likely to see more variants of this type of ransomware, which is designed to modify the infected computer's Master Boot Record, the part of the system which controls the ability to boot into the operating system.
Once modified in this way using malicious code, the system will boot into a lock screen set up by the malware, demanding payment not only to decrypt files but also to restore access to the main operating system. The inability to do anything with the system aside from viewing the ransomware note will only give victims two options: pay up, or have their system wiped completely. It's likely to make ransomware an even more appealing avenue of attack for cybercriminals.