We all know that there has been a significance increase in the number of cyber-attacks on various corporate websites and network infrastructure. Even the individual users of the internet are not spared these days as even they tend to become a victim of ransomware attacks and more. In most of these cases, the hackers tend to demand ransom in the form of Bitcoin, the popular digital currency known for its pseudonymous nature. Criminals prefer bitcoin as it is easy to make bitcoin transfers anywhere across the world and it can also be exchanged for fiat currency at any of these exchanges provided that he has verified the account.
However, if the recent reports on MIT Technology Review are to be believed, then many businesses owners have suddenly started to show interest in the digital currencies. According to reports, the interest in bitcoin is mainly to maintain a reserve for payouts to the hackers in case their data centers of systems get compromised.
Ransomware attacks can be solved easily when it is the home computer that is screwed. However, with work computers being infected, the amount of data lost and the resulting economic losses can be huge. It is hard to disinfect a ransomware as all the files on the system will be encrypted by the malware. In order to remove the malware, one needs the specific decryption key, which is usually held by the hacker, who will hand over when to the owner once he satisfies the demands.
Most companies not maintaining regular data backups, due to various reasons and the bitcoin stash they are currently accumulating is their way of being prepared to deal with a ransomware attack or some other cyber security threat. However, it is not a good idea, as explained multiple times by various bitcoin magazines and law enforcement agencies, by paying ransom people are not only taking a huge risk of not getting the decryption keys, if the hacker changes his mind, or encourage the hacker to attempt many such hacks to make some more easy money.
Ref: MIT Technology Review Image: ComputerWorld