What Does Doxware Mean?

Doxware is a type of ransomware that threatens to release personal data to the public if the user does not pay the ransom. The term comes from the hacker term “doxing,” or releasing confidential information over the internet. Doxware attacks frequently infect computers from phishing emails.


Doxware is also known as extortionware.

Techopedia Explains Doxware

Doxware is a type of malware where certain files are seized. The user must then pay, typically by Bitcoin, or the files will be released over the internet. Doxware typically scans files for key phrases that indicate that they are confidential or private.

The attackers hope that users, faced with the possible release of important data that they do not want released publicly, will simply pay. Doxware is subcategory of ransomware, but the scope of the files that doxware targets is smaller than ordinary ransomware, which targets entire hard drives.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.