From across the pond, some interesting news. As Naked Security reported, a year ago Citrix UK commissioned a poll to find out what British businesses were doing to prepare for ransomware attacks. The answer was that a third of UK companies were stockpiling digital currency, mostly in bitcoins, to pay the ransom if they became victims of a ransomware attack.
More than 35% of the large firms Citrix surveyed were willing to pay over £50,000 (USD $64,555) to regain access to important intellectual property or business-critical data.
Now, fast forward a year with the massive WannaCry global leaked NSA exploit-fueled attack (and NotPetya), and it seems they're doing the same thing, only the currency pile they're sitting on has swelled.
According to Citrix's Chris Mayers, the latest research, published to coincide with Infosec Europe 2017, shows that large British businesses are now prepared to pay out an average of £136,235 (USD $175,896) to regain access to their critical data.
That's up, on average, by 361% over last year's research – a pretty massive increase!
Such payoff prep isn't limited to ransomware: In October, the Guardian reported that several of London's biggest banks were looking to stockpile Bitcoins in order to pay off crooks threatening to bring down their critical IT systems via massive DDoS attacks.
As is well known, it is hard to buy a lot digital currency at once – hence the stockpiling. It can take up to a week for brokers to process you. And you can't get a whole lot of bitcoins out of a bitcoin ATM.
As recent research from IBM has shown, 32% of surveyed businesses have paid extortionists quite a bit.
20% paid more than $40,000
25% paid $20,000-$40,000
11% paid $10,000-$20,000
The mystery to me is why it is reported that more than half of 500 British IT companies surveyed aren't doing simple things to defend against ransomware – like daily backups. That's a puzzler.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 703-359-0700
Digital Forensics/Information Security/Information Technology