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Ransomware Collects $25 Million from Victims in Previous 2 Years


The Verge reports that the malware hackers use Ransomware to lock computers of victims and demand ransom amount to unlock them and in the process, collected over $25 Mn in payments for those responsible for spreading viruses during last 2 years only.


Researchers of Google, Chainalysis and UC San Diego and the NYU Tandon School of Engineering studied 34 different cases of ransomware were able to map out the ransomware underworld in a better way. Minnesota.cbslocal.com posted on July 26th, 2017, stating that they specifically discovered Locky, a strain of ransomware which has alone collected over $7 Mn in ransom payments.


The researchers probed 34 different kind of malware, tracing payments on the blockchain to try and analyse the quantum of ransomware and the amount of money its dealers are collecting from victims.


WannaCry encrypts files on a computer and demands ransom amount of $300 in Bitcoin to decrypt the files. The ransom amount increases to $600, in case $300 is not paid within three days. And if that is also not paid within seven days, the files are lost forever.


The motive behind the ransomware attack is actually very simple. The computer was infected by the attacker, thus encrypting files of the victim and also the private keys. Only mode by which the victim can get back its personal data is by paying a ransom amount, which is normally in form of Bitcoins. It has been generally found that in the ransomware attacks, victims are ready to pay required ransom for retrieving their data. Particularly, this study tracked 34 different ransomware strains. This data revealed that the ransomware strain, known as Locky, has gained huge upward trend in the payments after 2016.


Reps of customer service help victims in finding out the way to buy cryptocurrency such as bitcoin to pay the ransom amount and negotiate with victims to decrypt particular files. They also offer protection packages to ensure that victims don't get hit again.


Antivirus software is the main defense against ransomware. Install and meticulously update the antivirus software regularly. It blocks similar codes to known ransomware viruses but hackers have changed by creating ransomware which will inevitably change its code once it is detected. Employees need to be trained to recognize phishing attempts to minimize chances for ransomware to enter computer systems.

» SPAMfighter News - 8/2/2017

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