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“Ransomware demands drop” – More and more cyber-attackers are demanding less; in a bid to victimise more

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Cyber-hacks are becoming more and more sophisticated, and nowadays some cyber-hackers are demanding less from their victims to pay up.

Sometimes, people may feel there is no other way than paying up the ransom to gain access to your computer again. But as with most “products” or “services” there is usually a marginal propensity to pay – which is basically the willingness of someone to pay a price.

Would you pay £100 for a bottle of 2 litre milk? Probably not. Would you pay a pound for it? I’m sure you would.

Well, the hackers are employing the same tactic to make sure it’s cheap enough for people to pay as opposed to calling the police…

What is ransomware?

Among the risks to cybersecurity, ransomware has been a crime that has soared in recent years.

This cybercrime is arguably one of the most worrying, as the cyber-hacker can install malicious software designed to block access to a computer until a sum of money is paid. There are multiple types of ransomware, but they all usually prevent access to your computer, and they can encrypt files so you cannot use them, and they can also stop certain applications like the web browser from running.

A get rich scheme

So, you may ask why it is so worrying. There is no guarantee that paying the ransom or following the instructions on your screen will give access to your files again. Many cyber-hackers believe this to be a ‘get rich quick scheme’ and, unfortunately, it has worked for many.

Recent reports show that ransom prices have been falling. Some may argue this to be a good thing as businesses or individuals need not pay out a large sum to retrieve their information. However, this can be a very dangerous tactic deployed by cyber-attackers instead.

This is the case as many cyber-hackers are now ‘only’ looking for a few hundred pounds from each victim. If cyber-attackers are demanding around £200 (which seems to be a typical ransom), more victims may succumb to the ransom and pay-out. It seems as though the cyber-hackers have done their homework, and the trend is that they do not demand so much as they know consumers are unable or unwilling to afford larger sums, and may just call the authorities. Rather, by setting a ‘reasonable’ sum, more victims may see this as their only way out.

The importance of cybersecurity

These ransom demands reiterate how important cybersecurity is, and what businesses and individuals should do in a bid to fight off cyber-hackers. Ransomware highlights the danger of our dependency on our digital tools and IT systems. As ransomware is on the rise, the threat of unauthorised access to our information can be imminent. Businesses should be very vigilant to potential attacks and constantly review their cybersecurity.

Ongoing long-term effects

However, by paying ransoms, it does not mean that you are ‘back to normal’.

Once you have access to your computer you may want to go through some remedial action e.g. changing passwords, checking if anything has been stolen or checking to see if there has been any ‘suspicious activity’ on your bank accounts, etc. There can be more to just paying the ransom. The after-effects may be felt for a long while, and you may never know if the hackers have retained your information, or made a copy of it. You will only be made aware of it if your information has been used for identity fraud later on, or gets leaked in some way.

The threat is substantial, and there may be no going back once you have been a victim of a cyber-attack. With cyber-hackers demanding less and less, there could be an upward trend of more and more attacks of this nature.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Matthew on December 16, 2016
Posted in the following categories: Malware and tagged with


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