So-called Ransomware occupies the computer or laptop and demands a payment from the victim in order to unlock and use the device again. Sometimes they threaten to delete the files. Even banks do not come around the blackmail viruses and are forced to pay Bitcoins for the unblocking.
Who would have imagined that banks would get into Bitcoins so early? Probably nobody. So far, banks are less likely to be on the move in the Bitcoin environment for strategic reasons. Rather, banks are dependent on Bitcoins because they are constantly victims of Ransomware attacks due to their size.
Banks protect themselves against Ransomware with Bitcoin formula
As can be seen in particular from a statement by Malwarebytes CEO Marcin Kleczynski, banks even keep a not too small amount of Bitcoin formula in their wallet in order to be able to react and pay quickly in the event of cases. Such ransomware is particularly dangerous in the banking sector because Bitcoin formula is in danger of being deleted or passed on.
Kleczynski even confirms: „I talked to some banks and they said they had 50 to 100 bitcoins on the wallets in case of an unexpected Ransomware attack.
Banks: Dependent on large information systems
Banks are heavily dependent on huge internal information systems and networks in their day-to-day business. An attack on this network can bring the entire work process to a standstill. There is a constant race between security experts and Ransomware hackers.
Kleczynski suspects that there has been a shift in the targets of hackers. According to him, the goal is no longer individual private users, who offer a lucrative attack surface through the masses, but increasingly individual companies. Hackers are often expected to use more or less anonymous means of payment such as Paysafecards or Bitcoins.
When Ransomware Decides Life and Death
A Ransomware attack alongside the financial sector can have a particularly dramatic effect on companies in the healthcare sector. A failure of the IT system could not only have economic consequences, but could also block important (possibly life-supporting) devices and thus endanger the lives of patients. In most cases, these companies pay the required amount to the hacker instead of trying to eliminate the virus themselves. Kleczynski supports this approach:
„It should never be about human lives, but if it is – for whatever reason – the case, I would pay the amount. It’s just money…Likewise as a student who wrote his dissertation for four years and didn’t make a backup. I wouldn’t pay for someone who’s about family photos that are still copies on the digital camera anyway“.
Especially people who have some previous knowledge in technical fields refuse to pay blackmail software providers. Thus one tries mostly in self direction to solve the problem with the help of the Internet. Any private user who manages to unlock the PC has saved a lot of money in the process.
The situation is different for institutional users: Their business life often depends on whether access to certain data is possible. It can quickly become very expensive if access is blocked and paying the ransom may be an even more economically viable alternative. This idea seems to have recently found acceptance among hackers, so that an increased concentration on enterprise victims of Ransomware is to be expected.