Ransomware Criminals Screwed Victims Out Of 25 Million

first_imgStay on target Android Ransomware Pretends to Be Reddit PornCyberattack Strikes City of Atlanta Ransomware is one of the nastiest threats lurking on the Internet these days. There’s no sign that the situation will improve anytime soon, either. Not when ransomware is earning the criminals behind it millions of dollars each month.Somewhere in excess of $2.5 million, according to a study put together by Google and Chainalysis with help from UC San Diego and NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. Arriving at that figure involved a heck of a lot of work.It’s not like cyber criminals are reporting the income, after all. What the research team had to do was to sift through Google’s massive cache of ransomware samples. That cache included a whopping 301,588 files at the time, and it represented 34 distinct families of ransomware.They then turned their attention to the Blockchain to identify transactions from ransomware victims. One particularly interesting finding from the study: 94% of all payouts were processed by the Russian Bitcoin exchange BTC-E. It’s a logical finding, given the ties often found linking ransomware outbreaks to Russian organized crime.If the study’s findings are indeed accurate, then there’s one important takeaway. While ransomware is indeed a huge threat, it’s nowhere near as profitable as two other types of cyber crime.Two years ago, Microsoft estimated that 3.3 million Americans fell victim and were scammed out of roughly $1.5 billion. Also more profitable: business email compromises, which have cost U.S. businesses more than $1.6 billion since 2013.BECs typically involve much higher payouts. While a ransomware victim might be fleeced for anywhere between $300 to $2000, a well-executed BEC could cost a company millions in one fell swoop. Facebook and Apple reportedly got tagged for a combined $100 million by a Lithuanian hacker. In 2015, Ubiquiti Networks was nailed for $46.7 million… though they managed to get a few million of its funds back.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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