Kaspersky: over half of ransomware victims paid off attackers in 2020
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Kaspersky: Over half of ransomware victims paid off attackers in 2020

Kaspersky: Over half of ransomware victims paid off attackers in 2020

Study says only 17% of the victims got all their data back

More than half (52 per cent) of consumer ransomware victims worldwide paid ransom to restore access to their data in 2020, according to a study by Kaspersky. Yet for 15 per cent of those, paying the ransom did not guarantee the return of stolen data, the report adds.

Ransomware is a type of malware which criminals use to extort money. It holds data to ransom using encryption or by locking users out of their device.

Kaspersky’s report, ‘Consumer appetite versus action: The state of data privacy amid growing digital dependency’, found that the estimated monetary loss was less than $100 for more than a quarter of respondents (28 per cent). For 15 per cent of the respondents, the figure ranged from $100 to $249 and $250 to $1999 for 43 per cent of the victims. At the top, 3 per cent of the victims had to pay between $2,000 and $4,999.

Read: Malware infections in the UAE decreased slightly in 2020: Kaspersky

Whether they paid or not, only 17 per cent of victims were able to restore all their encrypted or blocked files following an attack, the survey adds. More than half (62 per cent) lost at least some files, 34 per cent lost a significant amount, and 18 per cent lost a small number of files. Meanwhile, 13 per cent who did experience such an incident lost almost all their data.

Marina Titova, head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky said consumers should make sure to invest in initial protection and security for their devices and regularly back up all data. This, she adds, will make the attack itself less appealing or lucrative to cybercriminals, reducing the use of the practice.”

Experts recommend that victims refrain from paying ransom if a device has been locked. Paying extortionate ransoms only encourages cybercriminals to continue their practice.

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