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1) n. money paid to a kidnapper in demand for the release of the person abducted. Ransom money can also be paid to return a valuable object such as a stolen painting. 2) v. to pay money to an abductor to return the person held captive. (See: kidnapping, abduction)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

RANSOM, contracts, war. An agreement made between the commander of a capturing vessel with the commander of a vanquished vessel, at sea, by which the former permits the latter to depart with his vessel, and gives him a safe conduct, in consideration of a sum of money, which the commander of the vanquished vessel, in his own name, and in the name of the owners of his vessel and cargo, promises to pay at a future time named, to the other.
     2. This contract is usually made in writing in duplicate, one of which is kept by the vanquished vessel which is its safe conduct; and the other by the conquering vessel, which is properly called ransom bill.
     3. This contract, when made in good faith, and not locally prohibited, is valid, and may be enforced. Such contracts have never been prohibited in this country. 1 Kent, Com. 105. In England they are generally forbidden. Chit. Law of Nat. 90 91; Poth. Tr. du Dr. de Propr. n. 127. Vide 2 Bro. Civ. Law, 260; Wesk. 435; 7 Com. Dig. 201; Marsh. Ins. 431; 2 Dall. 15; 15 John. 6; 3 Burr. 1734. The money paid for the redemption of such property is also called the ransom.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dharma ransomware, which first emerged in 2016, has been responsible for a number of cyber incidents, including the takedown of hospital networks in USA.
McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR) observed innovations in ransomware campaigns, with shifts in initial access vectors, campaign management and technical innovations in the code.
This report provides in depth study of "Ransomware Protection Market" using SWOT analysis i.e.
" In this quarter we observed an increase in the number of new ransomware modifications, even though the Gandcrab family closed down in early June.
"The FBI told us that nobody is immune from a ransomware attack," Latta said.
In Q1 2019, the average ransomware demand reported to the BBR Services team was $224,871, an increase of 93% over the 2018 average of $116,324, said the Beazley Breach Insights report.
Not surprisingly, in the urgent response to avoid business interruptions upon a ransomware attack, the immediate reaction may simply be to pay the ransom.
"The malware also employs the use of a long batch file to terminate running programs and kill a large number of services, many of which appear to be related to security or protection, which is becoming a common theme among current-generation ransomware families," Sophos researcher Andrew Brandt (https://news.sophos.com/en-us/2019/05/03/megacortex-ransomware-wants-to-be-the-one/) said in a report.
Global ransomware damage costs are predicted to hit $20 billion in 2021, up from $11 billion in 2019, $5 billion in 2017 and just $325 million in 2015, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.
NAS said ransomware criminals became more greedy than ever in 2018.
The study said that a ransomware attack of such magnitudes could cause substantial economic damage to multiple business sectors.