IBM Study: Ransomware up 6,000%, a Billion-Dollar Business


A new study from IBM security has revealed that ransomware has increased a staggering 6,000% this year compared to 2015 and is on course to become a billion dollar business by the end of the year.

A new report by IBM has revealed that ransomware malware has made significant gains in being a malware menace, up 6,000% from last year. Amazingly, ransomware was found in nearly 40% of all spam messages sent via email, in 2016.

The reason for ransomware’s is simply down to the fact a significant proportion of victims, pay up to get their encrypted data back. For instance, IBM research discovered that 70% of business victims paid the hackers to get their data back. Of those who paid, 50% paid an eye-watering $10,000 or more to get their data back. 20% of those who paid forked out over $40,000 as ransom.

The payouts come despite the FBI’s official stance asking victims not to pay their attackers.

A notable example of a ransomware incident is the recent breach of San Francisco’s light rail network. The authority did not pay the ransom, however, since it had its systems and data backed up.

Most ransomware exploits snag over $300 per victim, IBM revealed, while 40% of individual consumers and victims, not corporate targets, are willing to get their data back.

Over half the parents surveyed by IBM research admitted that they would pay the ransom to regain their data that would include personal photos and family memories while 40% of parents said they were worried about hackers targeting and compromising gaming consoles.

Limor Kessem, executive security advisor at IBM security stated:

The digitzation of memories, financial information and trade secrets require a renewed vigilance to protect it from extortion schemes like ransomware. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of our reliance on devices and digital data, creating pressure points that test our willingness to lose precious memories or financial security.

Image credit: Flickr.