Ransomware demands are actually cheap

If you're a cyber-criminal looking to enter the ransomware game, but not sure how much money you should demand for the unlocking of a victim's files, don't worry. Kaspersky Lab has done the research for you.

The security firm, together with B2B International, said people value their smartphone data, on average, at $682. In 39 per cent of cases, the figure exceeds $1,000.

On the other hand, cyber-criminals which have managed to lock a victim's device through ransomware, usually demand $300.

"These figures explain why so many people are willing to pay extortionists, and once again, demonstrate the need for preventive protection measures against online threats,” the two companies said in a press release.

The ransomware situation has been called an epidemic quite some time ago, and it is obviously going to continue, as long as people pay ransom. And in that respect, things aren’t looking too bright. At least 40 per cent of victims decided to pay, Kaspersky Lab says.

They do that, mostly because they don’t backup their device, and then fear things like photos would be lost forever.

"It is interesting that people value their data highly and understand its irretrievability, but do so little to protect it – preferring to solve problems as they arrive. However, in cases of malicious encryption, even paying a ransom does not guarantee that the data will be returned to the owner. Unfortunately, ransomware is not the only threat jeopardising personal data. For example, data may be lost or stolen together with a device. This all means that careless user behaviour may result in an emotionally upsetting experience as well as considerable financial loss", says Elena Kharchenko, Head of Consumer Product Management, Kaspersky Lab.

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