Malwarebytes is primarily a scanner that scans and removes malicious software, including rogue security software, adware, and spyware. Malwarebytes scans in batch mode, rather than scanning all files opened, reducing interference if another on-demand anti-malware software is also running on the computer.

Malwarebytes is available in both a free and a paid version. The free version can be run manually by the user when desired, whereas the paid version can perform scheduled scans, automatically scan files when opened, block IP addresses of malicious websites, and scan only those services, programs, and device drivers that are currently in use.

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Ransomware is a type of malware from cryptovirology that threatens to publish the victim’s personal data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system so that it is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion. It encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. In a properly implemented cryptoviral extortion attack, recovering the files without the decryption key is an intractable problem, and difficult to trace digital currencies such as Paysafecard or Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are used for the ransoms, making tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators difficult.

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