The cost of ransomware attacks could reach $1 billion this year according to new report
The rise of ransomware means the total cost of ransomware damages (attacks using cryptographic file-locking software) could reach $1 billion this year, a report cybersecurity company Herjavec Group has warned.
Two-thirds of companies pay ransomware demands: But not everyone gets their data back Organizations which haven’t been ransomware victims say they wouldn’t give in to demands, but for those who have been infected, it’s a different story.
The report, “Hackerpocalypse”: A Cybercrime Revelation, suggests that individuals and organizations who feel they have no choice but to pay a fee to unlock their files have led to the rise of this particular cyberattack. It even notes how even the law itself isn’t exempt from becoming a victim as police departments have been infected with ransomware and have had to pay a ransom to unlock the encrypted files….
It’s estimated that last year cybercrime victims paid $24 million to hackers deploying ransomware. According to the Herjavec Group, the amount paid out by victims of ransomware in just the first three months of this year came to a total of $209 million. The report suggests that the forecast now is that the total cost of ransomware is set to reach $1 billion for all of 2016. The lucrative nature of ransomware – combined with the fact this particular type of cybercrime is relatively easy to pull off – means that cybercriminals are not only increasingly deploying it, but they’re also increasingly attacking bigger targets in order to extract larger ransoms.
“The rise of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies has made it possible, safe, and easy, to demand and receive payments and transfer money anonymously. This has had a dramatic impact on the number and type of cybercrime opportunities. It really is the engine of cybercrime, and it will continue to enable and embolden the criminals,” said Matt Anthony, Vice President of Remediation Services at Herjavec Group.
The report warns that as ransomware continues to grow – especially as it becomes even easier for even those without any hacking skills to carry out – ransom payments will rise and make up a substantially larger percentage of cybercrime costs over the next five years. The overall annual cost of global cybercrime was thought to be $3 trillion in 2015 and this is expected to double to $6 trillion a year by 2021.
It’s because companies fear the repercussions of losing the data that those infected have given into ransom demands, with 37% organizations worried about being fined if data became lost – the fact that quietly paying a ransom could mean that the business doesn’t need to go public about a breach could also be a factor in this. Many view the cost of ransomware as low enough to justify paying as a means of avoiding any further issues. However, if it isn’t already obvious that cybercriminals aren’t exactly trustworthy, the report suggests that of those companies which paid a ransom to hackers, one in five never got their data back!
More Here [zdnet]