This year, American companies have paid hackers more than $ 590 million in ransom
According to a report by the US Treasury Department, in the first half of the year, American companies paid a ransom of $ 590 million.
Ransomware is a combination of two words: ransome (from English.redemption) and software (from the English software). This type of software is used to encrypt the data contained on the computer and block access to it. With its help, criminals first paralyze the work of the company, encrypting the relevant information, and then demand a ransom from the owners in exchange for a special decryption key. This practice is constantly gaining popularity, and this year may be a record for thieves.
The US Treasury Department reported that the amount associated with extortion attacks in the first half of 2021 was 42% more than in the whole of 2020. If they continue to grow at this rate, then by January American companies will pay more ransoms related to cybercrime than in the last decade.
The popularity of ransomware is due to several reasons. Firstly, this is a fairly simple and effective method. Even if encrypted data is not key to the company’s existence, often the company prefers to pay the criminal to unlock them, rather than incur even greater costs for their loss. Secondly, recently there have been several high-profile cases of ransomware attacks, which were reported by all the media. The most famous in May of this year. As a result, the operation of the largest American pipeline was paralyzed. Most of these cases end with the payment of a ransom. Other potential criminals, seeing this, also want to cut a piece of this delicious pie for themselves.
Thirdly, the existence of cryptocurrencies makes it easier for bandits to get a ransom without exposing themselves to the risk of detection.