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I am not sure whether ransomware attacked a pc in my home setup. An adware popup came up and locked the browser however i ended the process and ran my av, nothing was detected. There were usb drives connected. I reinstalled windows, however i plugged the usb drive back in to format. first i am not sure if i even got ransomware but i reinstalled to be safe, i wanted to re use the usb drive so i formatted however i am not sure if ransomeware can spread like a virus or a trojan and if i formatted the usb drive even though i plugged it back in to the pc, will there be any possible spread of possible ransomware? There is a chance this could of been adware however if the browser is locked and has to have the process ended does this indicate ransomware?

marked as duplicate by Philipp, techraf, ThoriumBR, Anders, Matthew Dec 13 '16 at 14:58

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An adware popup came up and locked the browser.
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if the browser is locked and has to have the process ended does this indicate ransomware?

It could be a harmless bug in the JS engine etc.
If it is indeed malware, it's not necessarily ransomware, it could be anything.

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Assuming it was malware:

ran my av, nothing was detected

What the AV says or not says doesn't matter. Generally, AVs are pretty useless on already infected devices.

however i plugged the usb drive back in to format.

After reinstallation? Not good. A different OS is a better choice for such tasks. ... Well, maybe (probably?) you got rid of it with reinstalling alone, but understand there is no 100% guarantee (even with different OS etc.)

i am not sure if ransomeware can spread like a virus or a trojan

Ransomware can do everything normal malware can do, because it's just normal malware with some payment demand added. It could spread not at all, or over Mails, USB, Wifi, infect EFI etc.etc.

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Ransomware often waits a long time without doing anything, before encrypting the files. If it is ransomware, what you should do now is to create a backup on a external disk and keep it. Ideally, you would have done this before a suspected infection, but's still useful. In case you really need it, however, don't just reinstall and plug the disk in to copy the files back. A different OS etc. is very helpful, and take only the files you really need, ideally as little as possible.

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