March 26, 2021

What are the most common way ransomware is delivered?

Can anyone explain some of the most common means that ransomware actually makes its way onto a computer network (with some detail and maybe examples or scenarios).

I’m not looking for an overly technical explanation but the answers I’ve read online are ridiculously basic and don’t really paint a good picture of how this happens (I.e. “some method of social engineering in which a suspicious link is clicked or an attachment is opened”)

How does this actually play out? Are login credentials stolen? Can your network really be infected with malware by just clicking on a link? Do you have to download and run an executable?

I’m trying to spread awareness about it but it would be nice to have some more to go on when explaining.

I hope this doesn’t violate the “fundamental” security post” or “low effort” rules but I would truly appreciate some insight from the experts on here as opposed to the cut and paste results that are all over Google. Thanks.



Clicking on a phishing link that downloads ransomware is certainly one attack vector but there are several others. Compromised or brute forced remote access credentials (i.e Remote Desktop Protocol) is another, as is leveraging a remote code execution vulnerability in an internet-facing product like is currently occurring with Microsoft Exchange and Accellion FTA. There are also cases where databases are misconfigured to not require authentication of any kind which allows hackers to just directly encrypt files without even needing ransomware.

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