Ransomware demands increase.
The possibility of losing all of your files and photos on your computer is a frightening prospect for most people. So much so, that large numbers of users are choosing to pay the criminals holding them to ransom rather than lose their data. In Australia alone, ransoms totalling AUD $1 million were reported to have been paid in 2014. A willingness to pay may be the reason behind Australia’s rise to being the second most targetted country in the world for these types of attacks in the 1st quarter of 2015.
The ransomware attacks begin with trojan malware being downloaded inadvertently and run on their computer. The malware is delivered either as an attachment on a spam email or through an infected website that the user has browsed. Once on the computer, the malware encrypts all of the user’s files, typically documents, photos, movies and music and then pops up a notice asking for a ransom to be paid in order to get a key to decrypt the files and get them back. The encryption of files followed by a ransom demand are why this type of software is called “crypto ransomware”.
Ransom victims are asked to pay on average US $300 using the relatively untraceable cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. About 2% of victims of crypto ransomware agree to pay the ransom despite security experts recommending that this is not the best option. They point out that even after paying, there is no guarantee that all of…