CryptoWall Infections Fell Dramatically Over Past Year
While the groups using CryptoWall version 4 attempted to spread the ransomware to millions of users, they likely took in less than $18 million, according to an industry report.The well-known CryptoWall ransomware has run into a wall of its own. Over the past year, the criminals behind CryptoWall have seen their profit drop dramatically, according to a report published by the Cyber Threat Alliance, a group of eight security companies that exchange information on current cyber-threats. During the first 10 months of 2015, CryptoWall version 3 infected "hundreds of thousands of victims," resulting in an estimated $325 million in revenue. From November 2015 to June 2016, however, the latest CryptoWall, version 4, took in only about $18 million, according to a report released by the CTA on Sept. 26. "The CryptoWall authors … showed persistence with the creation of the fourth variant of CryptoWall and characteristically held true to the tenacity of advanced cybercriminals," the CTA stated in the report. "Fortunately, CW4 was materially less damaging." The decline in damages came as the groups using CryptoWall ramped up their attempts at infecting users. The Cyber Threat Alliance detected 7.2 million attempted attacks, according to the report. With only 36,114 confirmed victims, that's a 0.5 percent success rate—much lower than last year's double-digit rate. The exact success rate for version 3 is not clear, however.
India became a significant target of the latest version of CryptoWall, just behind the United States in terms of the impact felt from the malware, the report stated.