Ransomware, is a sort of rogue software application which encrypts files on your hard disk drive and requires payoff in Bitcoins to recover them, is growing very quickly. Police departments, hospitals, and big corporations are the latest victims of ransomware.
During the early years of ransomware viruses, payment was generally done through prepaid cards, wire transfers, or with the help of mobile/SMS transactions. Today ransom sum is always required to be in Bitcoin.
What are the factors that caused the rise in ransomware and did Bitcoin provoke this quick rise? The ability to demand ransom in Bitcoins is very convenient as it is difficult to trace and it is not controlled by any government or organization.
Bitcoin is especially helpful at this point because it’s reliable, verifiable, and quick. The cybercriminal may easily keep an eye on the public blockchain to find when a target has sent the money. He can actually create an exclusive payment address for every victim. Then he can automate the procedure of decrypting the locked documents once a confirmed Bitcoin payment is sent to this specific address.
The reality is that crooks typically have extremely strict configuration criteria for the instruments they will use since there’s customer support or legal assistance available for a lawbreaker whose software tools cannot operate as they ought to.
Perpetrators are employing Bitcoin as it’s a reliable solution that simply works. Ransomware authors are somewhat similar to bootleggers, they like driving custom sport-cars while everyone else still seats in Ford’s Model T.
There was a distinctive boost in Bitcoin ransom payments in 2017. It is estimated that criminals get about $70 million on a monthly basis, and amounts are growing.
Affected individual users are demanded to pay about $400. Ransoms demanded from companies are more substantial – up to $17,000. Ransomware authors set up call centers to help the victims in sending the money.
Bitcoin is merely a technological innovation and know-how, like the Internet and email. No one blames the Internet for cyber-crimes any longer, however without Bitcoin ransomware would not spread so quickly.