Cyber-criminals have netted more than $25m from ransomware over the last two years, according to research published by Google. The research was carried out by two Google employees, who said: “It’s become a very, very profitable market and is here to stay.”

Google Study says Ransomware is “Here to Stay”

The online search company created thousands of virtual victims of ransomware in order to expose the extent of ransomware payments. The majority of the money was made in 2016 – with two types of ransomware called Locky and Cerber making most of it. By analysing Bitcoin payments, the researchers found that those two strains also made the most money over the last year, with Locky collecting about $8m and Cerber $7m.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a machine and encrypts its files so they can no longer read. In order to decrypt the files, the victim is instructed to pay a ransom, typically with an untraceable virtual currency such as Bitcoin.

How to avoid Ransomware attack

Back-up your files! Invest in a recovery system so a ransomware infection won’t destroy your data forever. Always have your Hull IT support business create two back-up copies: one stored in the cloud and one stored physically away from your primary site.

Use antivirus software to protect your system from ransomware. Do not switch off the protection under any circumstances.

Keep your computer software up to date. Whenever your operating system or applications release a new version, immediately install it. Never ignore update reminders.

Trust no one. Any computer account can be compromised and malicious links can come from accounts of friends or colleagues.  Never open email attachments from someone you don’t know.

If you get a ransomware warning on your screen, disconnect the computer from the internet immediately to prevent the infection from spreading, and call a Hull IT support expert like Digitalquill.

Digitalquill – Experts in Ransomware

Even if you have not been unlucky and suffered an attack from ransomware, you must still take steps to stay safe. We can check that your malware prevention tools are up to date and effective – and we can provide business grade AVG virus protection. We also conduct system security audits and make sure you have the safety measures you need. Call us on 01482 424402 for advice.