In their malicious activities, ransomware hackers often use viruses which infect devices and get the necessary information, block computers, corporate networks and much more to receive money for restoring normal running.
In addition, hackers can break into the database and download any confidential information from it: personal, corporate or even classified data. And then hackers send a note demanding money for nondisclosure and removal of any existing copies. However, it’s important to understand that the main goal of the ransomware is to disrupt the website's work, which most often does not affect the safety of users' assets.
After 2010, the attacks became really aggressive. Sinc hackers began to demand more and more money in various cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and others. Different countries began to search for a solution to this problem. For example, the governments of some countries are tightening the regulating policy for digital currency or even trying to ban it.
According to the analytical data from Statista, there was a major spike in the number of cyberattacks in 2016. During one year, 638 cyberattacks were registered. Fortunately, in the following years this indicator decreased slightly. But the attacks did not disappear.
In the first quarter of 2021 malware attacks, according to Check Point Research, affected 102% more companies than in the same period in 2020.
Many companies prefer not to disclose the fact of being hacked so it is difficult to estimate the scale of the total number of successful hacker attacks. But there is no doubt about one thing - their appetites continue growing.
At first, the ransoms were insignificant, as if hackers were testing their malware for success and users for compliance. In the first quarter of 2018, according to Chainalysis, the average buyout was about $1,000. In the last quarter of 2019, the average buyout was $12,000. And in the first quarter of 2021, the average ransom increased to $54,000.
The entire hacking system is based on the fact that attackers communicate with each other remotely, without knowing anything about anyone. That is why it is difficult to prevent such hacks totally.
Despite the recommendations of experts, according to a study by Proofpoint, more than half of the victims of cyberattacks pay ransoms. The United States are the most profitable for hackers. 87% of American companies and citizens prefer to pay the ransom. And in Japan, on the contrary, only 33% of the victims of cyberattacks pay the ransom.
According to Cybereason's research, 80% of those who paid money to ransomware were attacked again. In 2020, victims of cyberattacks paid more than $406 million in cryptocurrencies, according to Chainalysys.
For example, to protect your data, you should go through the verification of your account and set up two-factor authentication (2FA). These tools will help protect your account from hacking, or at least make it more difficult for hackers to access it.
As the hacker’s tricks are developing, so do the security systems at the technological and legislative levels. The governments of many countries are considering creating or already have strict rules regulating cryptocurrencies. Perhaps, soon the authorities of different countries using the existing mechanisms for tracking transactions, KYC/AML-procedures on the exchanges and introducing new methods of regulation, will be able to not only track cybercriminals but also prevent all of their attacks.