Ransomware is the leading cyber security threat in 2018. In a recent podcast, Hal Lonas, CTO of the security software provider Webroot, offered a succinct explanation of how ransomware has flipped the security threat paradigm on its ear. “It used to be that the bad guys wanted data because it was valuable to them,” he said. “With ransomware, they’re essentially asking: ‘your data isn’t valuable to me, but how much is worth to you?’ It’s scary how smart it is.” New types of ransomware will continue to surface. Hackers are constantly modifying ransomware code to evade detection by defense technologies, such as security software. This year, we’ve witnessed a surge in “polymorphic” malware, which is malware that changes automatically to appear unique to different endpoints. Security software often fails to discover these variants. To decrypt files, hackers typically request payment in the form of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.