Even though there have been plenty of stories about ransomware and how victims should never pay the ransom in the first place, it remains a very lucrative business. Close to 40% of victims will effectively pay the ransom as soon as their computer is infected with malware. These payments usually range between US$100 and US$500 on average, although higher amounts have been paid as well.
PAYING RANSOMWARE IS NEVER THE ANSWER
It is somewhat disconcerting to learn so many people still pay the ransom when their computer is infected with malware. To most consumers – and even some corporations – this is the only viable course of action to get files restored. After all, making backups is virtually out of the question these days, yet these victims have no issue with buying bitcoin or Monero to meet criminals’ demands.
A new study by Trustlook Inc goes to show consumers are still the prime targets among ransomware developers. So far, 17% of respondents have dealt with a ransomware infection over the past twelve months. That is quite a high number, as it seems ransomware distribution is becoming even more successful compared to the year 2015. For the average consumer, that is anything but good news.
What is even more troublesome is how about 38% of the victims effectively paid the ransom demanded by criminals. All of these payments are made in bitcoin, even though the first strain of Monero ransomware has appeared not too long ago. It seems that a new type of malware is not being distributed on a large scale just yet, although that situation may come to change in the future.
It is rather intriguing to learn 45% of respondents indicated they had no idea what ransomware is, nor have they ever heard of it. On the other hand, 48% claim they do not fear malware of ransomware by any means and will continue to maintain the same security practices as today. That may not necessarily be the best course of action, though. Just because one hasn’t been infected with ransomware yet doesn’t mean they should get complacent either.
Despite 38% of the ransomware victims effectively paying, only seven percent of non-victims admit they would ever pay the bitcoin demand. That is rather easy to say when not having to deal with a ransomware infection in the first place. Once all critical files are locked the computer becomes unusable, a mind shift will take place sooner or later.
Perhaps the most depressing statistic of all is how 23% of respondents still do not create regular backups of their data. Both computers and mobile devices are not being backed up often enough. If consumers were to take a more proactive attitude in this regard, they would never have to pay to get rid of ransomware in the first place. It is evident there is still a lot of educational work to be done.