Three Things To Know About Cryptocurrency And Ransomware

 Friday, September 17, 2021

 Verisk

As cyberattacks, namely ransomware, increase nationwide, there’s one reason for the rise in attacks that we cannot ignore: The growing prevalence of cryptocurrency.

These ransomware attacks encrypt users’ files, making them inaccessible without a decryption key (or password), and cybercriminals often hold the data for ransom in exchange for a fee–typically demanding cryptocurrency, or an encrypted form of digital currency, that is difficult to trace.

The number of cybercrimes increased by 69 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).1 Officials say that cryptocurrencies have contributed to the increasing number of cyberattacks.

This year, we saw attacks that dismantled critical infrastructure and these attacks are only expected to continue. In 2020, at least 2,354 governments, healthcare facilities, and schools were impacted by ransomware attacks, with total estimated ransom demands exceeding $1 billion.

After a ransomware attack, the data is held for ransom. To decrypt the files, the victim must pay the cybercriminal’s fee. But there’s no guarantee that paying the ransom will free the data.
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