Our website uses cookies

Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing Infosecurity Magazine, you agree to our use of cookies.

Okay, I understand Learn more

Ransomware: 85% of Victims Would Say No to Paying Up

Ransomware continues to thrive, with a significant increase in detections of the malware from October 2015 to March 2016, according to ESET. But there's a long way to go when it comes to consumer education on the issue.

The firm’s recent survey of the attitudes and knowledge that individuals have about ransomware asked 3,000 respondents across the US and Canada a series of revealing questions. Encouragingly, about 85% of respondents said that they wouldn’t pay the ransom fee if faced with an infection.

But, the other stats show that they may not be aware of exactly what they were being asked. Almost a third (30%) said that they didn’t know what ransomware was. Younger people, aged 18-24, were less likely to know what it was and what it does (34% were in the dark), vs. older people: Only a quarter (25%) of those 65+ didn’t know what ransomware is.

"Despite the attacks we have seen, and the widespread reporting on ransomware in the news in recent months, many people still don't know what it is," said ESET senior security researcher Stephen Cobb.

Another third (31%) said that they never back up their files. Once again, the younger crew fared the worst: 35% of them don’t use backups.

“Criminals use this nasty breed of software to reach out over your internet connection and kidnap the contents of your computer, literally holding them for ransom,” Cobb said. “Ransomware silently encrypts all of your personal files, making them unreadable, and then demands that you send money to the criminal in order to restore them….Family photos and videos. Tax returns and other financial records. Business documents. Think about everything that you keep on your computer. What would happen if it all was stolen from you?”

Users can protect themselves by keeping their software programs up-to-date, installing an internet security suite, backing up data and learning to spot a phish—ransomware’s favorite vector.

"We do believe that the first step in protecting against cyberthreats like ransomware is awareness and education," said Cobb. "The more people know about the types of threats that exist, the better they will be at taking necessary steps to defend themselves and their companies."

Photo © Bacho

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?