Definition of pseudoransomware : noun
A general category of malware that misrepresents itself as criminal ransomware, typically by rendering files unavailable and usually accompanied by what purports to be a ransom demand. It is not, however, genuine ransomware, but rather disruptive or destructive malware posing as ransomware in order to misdirect investigators and make attribution difficult and controversial. Pseudoransomware has been used as misdirection by nation-state intelligence service interested in carrying out deniable cyberattacks that can be misinterpreted as criminal or hacktivist activity. Russian services have been particularly known for their use of pseudoransomware, as in the 2017 NotPetya and WannaCry attacks, and in the 2022 WhisperGate attacks, all of which primarily targeted Ukraine.