The painful calculus of ransomware payments

Dennis Fisher writes:

The pandemic has disrupted, and in some cases destroyed, the business models of many companies, but it has been a boon for many ransomware gangs, which have taken the opportunity to hone their skills and expand their operations to include new forms of extortion, making an already serious threat into perhaps the most significant one most organizations face.

For several years, ransomware actors focused their attention on individual victims, using large malicious spam campaigns that deployed automated malware to encrypt victims’ files. The ransom demands were typically pretty small, often in the low hundreds of dollars, and the attackers depended on high volumes of successful infections and payments to keep them afloat. That model proved relatively successful, but a few years ago some groups began to shift their targeting to enterprises and state and local government entities, surmising correctly that there was much more money to be made with big game hunting.

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