Ransomware payments reach $1 bn in 2016

According to Federal Bureau of Investigation, the ranasomware payments in the year 2016 have reached up to a billion dollar a year which is a high rise from $24 million in 2015.

The average ransom demanded last year also went up, from about $295 at the end of 2015 to $679 is 2016.

Ransomware is a family of malware that blocks access to a PC, server or mobile device, or encrypts all the data stored on that machine. It's typically delivered via malicious email or infected third-party websites.

Director of Symantec Security Response, Kevin Haley expected the payment value to rise to thousand dollar before the end of 2017 which is worse both for victims and economy.

In the near future, mobile devices too may be vulnerable to ransomware. Symantec reportedly discovered ransomware called "Flocker" that can lock Android smart TVs. Experts even predict that the cloud could come under attack this year because it's such a lucrative target and could result in ransom payments in the millions of dollars.

Hackers deploying ransomware have been extorting money from computer users of all stripes as it is easy to deploy and has a high ROI, so criminals are flocking to it, more because the ransomware kits are easily accessible and the criminals start pumping them out almost immediately providing very few barriers to entry. All this means ransomware is likely to continue growing.

Despite increased warnings, businesses still appear willing to pay once they fall victim to a ransomware scheme. A survey conducted by IBM found that around 70% businesses infected with ransomware paid the money to recover their data.

Regular data backups are the only way to remain safe from ransomware infections.
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