The threat of ransomware continues to grow on a daily basis. Hackers are aware of this, and continue creating new ransomware variants to victimize new individuals. It is now clear, just the thought of being infected has become enough to pay.
Who would’ve predicted cyber criminals would just send the ransom note, without actually infecting people? Apparently this method, deemed “bluff” ransomware, is rather successful. In a new study by Citrix, they found 2 out of 3 victims of the fake ransomware, actually paid. Not just a few bucks either. The average payment was $16,000 USD and some even doubled that!
The entire concept is centered around fear. The idea of losing data is enough for several companies to send thousand upon thousand of dollars to hackers. However, Citrix reports there is good news,
“…the vast majority of affected businesses are sharing information on ‘bluff’ ransomware attacks. Over half of large UK businesses shared that information with police forces (57 percent) and cybersecurity organizations, such as the National Cyber Security Centre (59 percent).”
Advice Moving Forward
We’ve said it before, and we will say it again. Do NOT pay the ransom demands. Whether it’s legitimate ransomware or “bluff” ransomware, you should never pay. Paying only increases the cyber criminals desire to continue infecting PCs.
To avoid falling victim to a legitimate ransomware attack it is encourage PC users:
- Back up your data
- Implement a security solution that includes application whitelisting technology
- Keep your PC updated, including: applications, security programs and operating systems
- Stay updated on current cyber threats and red flags to identify them