Can Windows Defender detect ransomware?

Yes, Windows Defender can detect ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that blocks a user’s access to their own data until a ransom is paid. It can be a big problem for users and businesses alike, as it can lead to the loss or theft of important information or files.

Windows Defender includes a feature called “Controlled Folder Access” that helps protect users from ransomware attacks. When enabled, this feature prevents unauthorized applications from accessing certain folders, such as the Documents folder, the Desktop folder, and the Favorites folder. If an unauthorized application tries to access one of these folders, Windows Defender will alert the user and block the application from accessing the folder.

In addition to Controlled Folder Access, Windows Defender also includes anti-ransomware technology specifically designed to detect and block ransomware on a system. This technology uses several different methods to detect ransomware, including machine learning, behavior analysis, and signature-based detection. The machine learning algorithms used by Windows Defender analyze the behavior of suspicious programs and flag them as potential threats. The behavior analysis checks for known malicious activity that is associated with ransomware. These include things like creating new files, modifying existing ones, or changing file names. The signature-based detection looks for known ransomware activity that matches specific characteristics.

By combining all of these different detection methods, Windows Defender is able to detect and block many types of ransomware. Windows Defender can also provide users with useful information about any detected ransomware, including what type of ransomware it is and how to remove it.

In addition to protecting users from ransomware, Windows Defender also includes other features to help protect from other types of malware. These include real-time scanning and protection, web filtering, and application whitelisting. Windows Defender can also be used to block potentially unwanted programs and malicious websites.

Overall, Windows Defender can detect and block many types of ransomware. However, users should still take extra steps to ensure the security of their systems, such as using strong passwords and keeping their software and operating system up to date.