Researchers at Trustlook report that ransomware attacks on regular computer users have frequented. The aftermath is even more concerning, as statistics show that 38% of the victims decide to pay the ransom.
Ransomware was originally devised for personal gain and was not traded as a product. Up until last year, this type of virus was not a common weapon for cyber attacks. The landscape has changed, as ransomware programs are now offered on the darkweb and the number of attacks has skyrocketed.
According to a report, published by Trend Micro, fraud artists have racked up a revenue of $1 billion from attacks on businesses in 2016. On another note, the U.S. Department of Justice has recognized ransomware as the “biggest cyberthreat” of 2017.
While companies store more information on their computers and are financially capable of paying a higher sum, private users are less prepared to deal with the situation. Households have lower security standards and weaker protection which makes them an easy target. Furthermore, as a lot of users are unprepared to deal with cyber criminals, they succumb to the pressure.
Trustlook have found that a large number of people are unaware of the danger of ransomware. Their lack of awareness makes their systems an easy target. A lot of PC users fail to maintain an adequate level of protection. The security company did a study which revealed that 48% of consumers do not worry about falling victim to a ransomware attack. Of the users who have not contacted this type of virus, only 7% claimed that they would pay the ransom.
The key points from the study are as follows:
- 17% of private users have contacted ransomware at some point
- 38% of the victims have paid the ransom
- 45% of private users are unaware of the existence of ransomware
- 23% of private users do not backup the files on their computer or mobile phone
- the amount of the ransom fluctuates in the range of $100 – $500
The experts at Trustlook gave some pointers to help consumers protect their computers from attacks.
“Backup your data to multiple devices, and to at least one device that is not connected to a network,” advised Allan Zhang, CEO at Trustlook. “Also, be cautious of emails by checking the sender’s email address before clicking any link”.