Ransomware payments – All you need to know
If you were considering becoming a cybercriminal or were perhaps a traditional villain looking to upgrade your skills for the 21st century, I’m sure your business model of choice would be running a ransomware operation. You would, thanks to the simplicity of platforms like Ransomware as a Service and the willingness of victims to pay ransomware fees, be running a very successful business — albeit an illegal business — in a matter of days or weeks. Such is the ongoing success of ransomware as a means of extorting money from victims.
The main reason for the runaway success of ransomware as a malware attack vector is its effectiveness and ability to generate money for cybercriminals. Anonymous payment services like Bitcoin make ransomware payment simple for victims and risk free for the ransomware’s owners. Companies are even starting to keep a Bitcoin ransom ready in the event that they are affected and cannot recover from the attack.
Bitcoin isn’t the only ransomware payment method available. Cybercriminals offer flexibility when it comes to settling your bill. Early ransomware and Lockerware (the old screen-locking style of malware) were primitive in terms of demanding payment: Premium rate SMS message extortion was common, as was the use of the now defunct Ukash voucher scheme. Today, Bitcoin remains the most popular payment method, but other cryptocurrencies like the more sophisticated Ethereum and less well known Litecoin and Dogecoin are also options. The latter two currencies trail behind Bitcoin in terms of transactions, but all of these cryptocurrencies can be easily laundered through the darknet, allowing the cashing out of funds easily and anonymously.
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via the fine folks at Veeam Software