Ransomware remains one of the most serious and widespread threats to cybersecurity, impacting both individuals and large enterprises. One of the key elements of the effectiveness of these attacks is the use of encryption, which attackers use to block victims’ access to their data. The purpose of this paper is to explore the different types of encryption and algorithms used in ransomware attacks and to consider methods for protecting and recovering data. Understanding these aspects is critical to developing effective strategies for countering and preventing these threats.

Types of Encryption Used in Ransomware

Symmetric Encryption

Symmetric encryption is a method in which the same key is used to encrypt and decrypt data. This method is popular in ransomware attacks due to its efficiency and speed. Examples of symmetric encryption algorithms commonly used in ransomware include AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and DES (Data Encryption Standard). They provide a high level of security and can quickly encrypt large amounts of data, which is a key factor for attackers.

Asymmetric Encryption

Asymmetric encryption uses a pair of keys: a public key and a private key. Attackers can use the public key to encrypt data on the infected machine, but the private key, which is kept safe by the attacker, is required to decrypt it. This makes it difficult to recover data without the involvement of the attacker. RSA is one example of an asymmetric encryption algorithm that can be used in ransomware attacks.

Encryption Algorithms and Their Impact on Data Recovery

Algorithm Complexity and Recovery Possibilities

The complexity of the encryption algorithm used directly affects the possibilities for data recovery. Strong algorithms, such as AES-256, virtually eliminate the possibility of data recovery without the corresponding key. In some cases, however, when outdated or incorrectly implemented algorithms are used, cybersecurity professionals may find vulnerabilities and recover data.

The Role of Hash Functions in Ransomware

Hash functions play an important role in the operation of ransomware, ensuring the integrity and authenticity of encrypted data. However, they can also be used to secure the interaction between the victim and the attacker when paying the ransom. Examples of popular hash functions include SHA-256 and MD5, although the latter is considered outdated and unreliable.

Protection from Ransomware Using Encryption

Encryption as a Means of Prevention

Encryption can be a powerful tool not only for attackers but also for protection from them. Properly configured encryption of data and backups can prevent unauthorized access and preserve data integrity even in the event of a ransomware infection. The use of encrypted virtual private networks (VPNs) can also help protect traffic and prevent the spread of malware.

Modern Approaches to Ransomware Protection

Today, there are many modern strategies and technologies for protecting against ransomware attacks. Comprehensive cybersecurity solutions, including antivirus, antimalware, firewalls, and other tools, are an essential part of protection. Training users and raising their awareness of phishing methods and other attacker tactics is also essential.


In conclusion, understanding the different types of encryption and algorithms used in ransomware attacks is a key element in developing effective strategies for protecting and recovering data. Symmetric and asymmetric encryption plays a central role in the operation of ransomware, making the process of data recovery without the involvement of attackers extremely difficult.