WannaCry Ransomware Racks Up $70,000 in Payments

WannaCry has been the most discussed ransomware virus over the course of the past few days. The infection was distributed in an unprecedented attack launched this past Friday. The high scale of the attack can be attributed to the worm component of the program which allows it to get spread through networks.

The total number of infected devices is approximately 220,000. According to security researchers, about 250 victims have thus far paid the ransom. The proceeds raised up to this point amount to just slightly over $70,000. This is a rather small percentage. Attacks of this caliber have been much more profitable in the past.

The majority of the payments were made on Monday. During the weekend, only about $20,000 were paid. This indicates that a lot of people discovered WannaCry on their office computers when they returned to work on Monday.

The payment history attests to this assumption. The cyber criminals use several wallets for receiving ransoms. The transactions made to these wallets range between 0.16 and 0.34 Bitcoins. This equals $300 and $600, respectively. As the ransom note stated, the amount would double in 3 days. Devices which were infected on Friday may have been harvesting the infection for over 72 hours before the transaction was completed.

Payment Account Bug

Researchers at Symantec Security Response discovered a bug related to the payment procedure. The program was supposed to create a separate Bitcoin wallet for every instance of infection. If the code had gone through, collecting information about the payments would have been much more difficult.

The bright side to this cyber attack is that computer users have risen against the piracy. Most victims are refusing to cooperate. Having a mere 250 users from a total of 220,000 pay during the first three days is a poor success rate. Since there are four days left until the deadline expires, the end numbers will be available by late Friday. If you are interested, you can keep track of the incoming payments. Follow the linked Twitter account to get updates in real time.

We will see how people’s refute affects the developers of WannaCry and cyber criminals in general. Our advice to the victims of encryption viruses is to refrain from paying the ransom. If you have not lost essential information due to the attack, it is best not to encourage the hackers by adding to their profit.

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