Almost half of ransomware victims paid to get their data back

I recently covered a story in which security firm Imperva said Cryptowall 3.0 was the most successful ransomware of all time, earning its creators $325 million (£225.7m) so far. Now another story about ransomware emerges, and this one comes from another popular security firm, Bitdefender.

In its report, the company says almost half (44 per cent) of all ransomware victims have paid to get their data back, with 39 per cent saying they expect to be attacked again, in the future.

Ransomware is a type of malware which encrypts all the data on the victim’s computer and demands money in Bitcoin to release the data. If no payment is made in a specific timeframe, the documents are lost.

Victims are willing to pay up to £400 for their data, the company says. The survey also shows that most respondents know exactly what ransomware is and how a computer gets infected with it.

Ransomware is expected to grow and become even more present in 2016.

Catalin Cosoi, Chief Security Strategist at Bitdefender said: “The ransomware phenomenon has been hitting internet users and generating huge profit for cybercriminals for years. While victims are usually inclined to pay the ransom, we encourage them not to engage in such actions as it only serves to financially support the malware’s developers. Instead, coupling a security solution with minimum online vigilance could help prevent any unwanted ransomware infection.”

Bitdefender says it has already developed anti-ransomware technology, protecting documents, video and photos from being encrypted by ransomware.