Ransomware Attackers Raked In Huge Amount of Crypto in Q1: Report


Ransomware Attackers Raked In Huge Amount of Crypto in Q1: Report
Contents

While the cryptocurrency industry is gradually entering its stage of adolescence, Bitcoin remains the darling of ransomware attackers. Coinware, a startup that helps small companies to handle ransomware, has recently revealed the average daily Bitcoin ransom has grown 90 percent in Q1 2019.

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The attackers’ appetites are growing

The sudden increase is almost solely attributed to the appearance of Ryuk  ransomware that specifically targets big companies with low downtime tolerance. On average, victims fork out an eye-popping $286,557 in order to retrieve the files that were held hostage by Ryuk.  

An in-depth analysis of Ryuk linked the virus to the HERMES operators or the notorious North Korean APT Lazarus Group. Despite the fact that this form of ransomware has relatively low technical capabilities, its creators have already raked in more than $3.7 mln.

This is what their typical ransom note looks like:  

Ransomware Attackers Raked In Huge Amount of Crypto in Q1: Report


(Source: Check Point Research)
   

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Crypto as the only option

The report points out that cryptocurrency is the most preferable payment method with 98 percent of the attackers. In turn, Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency for ransomware payments. Bad actors are not likely to switch to another cryptocurrency since Bitcoin, despite only being pseudo-anonymous, is the most conventional coin.

Bitcoin can be easily mixed or exchange for other privacy coins. GandCrab, for example, also accepts Dash, and if you choose to go with Bitcoin, you will have to pay an extra fee of 10 percent to cover coin mixing expenses.

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‘GlobalCoin’ Faces Harsh Criticism from Bloomberg Columnist

  • Alex Morris
    📰 News

    Regulators and politicians will🔜 most likely put the 🔧spanner in the works for Zuckerberg’s plan to roll out his 😳own cryptocurrency


‘GlobalCoin’ Faces Harsh Criticism from Bloomberg Columnist
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Bloomberg, the major financial media outlet, didn’t take lightly Facebook’s new plan to launch its own cryptocurrency. In its recent op-ed that was written by Lionel Laurent, the company’s omnipotent CEO Mark Zuckerberg was compared to Dr. Evil.

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Zuckerberg’s empire

Facebook is already one of the most valuable companies in the world. The social media behemoth controls such popular applications as Instagram and Whatsapp (both have more than 1 bln monthly users).

By venturing into crypto, Zuckerberg, who controls 60 percent of Facebook’s shares, wants to extend his empire even further. As reported by U.Today, its coin will be launched in a dozen of countries to make payments in Q1 2020.

This is the kind of move that would turn Facebook from an incredibly powerful centralized network tracking its users’ behavior for the benefit of advertisers into one that also knows where and how they spend their money,” the article states.

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Regulatory roadblocks

Ahead of an official announcement, Facebook is currently fighting tooth and nail to solve regulatory issues.

Zuckerberg even had talks with the Winklevoss twins, his long-term rivals who are spearheading the controversial “Crypto Needs Rules” campaign.

However, even if Facebook undoubtedly tries to sugarcoat its project as trustworthy, it will have a hard time getting green-lighted by regulators and politicians.

Even though there was no official announcement, the coin already ruffled some feathers at the US Congress hearing. Lawmakers were concerned about potential privacy issues after multiple data scandals tainted Facebook’s reputation.

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