Most Businesses Pay Off Ransomware Attackers, IBM Study Finds

1 - Most Businesses Pay Off Ransomware Attackers, IBM Study Finds
2 - Ransomware Attacks Arrive in Spam Emails
3 - Most Consumers Don't Know about Ransomware
4 - Businesses Paying Ransoms to Retrieve Data
5 - Ransomware Payments Vary
6 - Willingness to Pay Ransom Depends on Data Value
7 - Parents More Willing to Pay Ransoms
8 - Bitcoin is the Top Payment Method
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Most Businesses Pay Off Ransomware Attackers, IBM Study Finds

An IBM Security study finds that only a minority of consumers have heard of ransomware and businesses hit by such attacks are willing to pay to get data back.

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Ransomware Attacks Arrive in Spam Emails

Ransomware is typically delivered to victims as an email attachment. Over the course of 2016, IBM X-Force observed a massive increase in the volume of spam emails that contained ransomware attachments, growing to nearly 40 percent in 2016 from 0.6 percent in 2015.

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Most Consumers Don't Know about Ransomware

Despite media headlines and the high volume or ransomware spam emails, consumer awareness is low. IBM's survey found that only 31 percent of consumers had ever heard of ransomware.

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Businesses Paying Ransoms to Retrieve Data

While consumers are largely unaware of ransomware, the same cannot be said for businesses. A whopping 70 percent of businesses surveyed by IBM that had been impacted by ransomware ended up paying the ransom.

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Ransomware Payments Vary

The amount paid by victims of ransomware varies, with 50 percent paying $10,000 or more and 20 percent of victims paying more than $40,000.

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Willingness to Pay Ransom Depends on Data Value

When it comes to organizations determining whether a ransom will be paid, IBM found their willingness varies based on the size of the organization and the data at risk. Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of respondents said they would pay a ransom to recover financial, customer or sales records, while 58 percent said they would pay for business plans and source code.

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Parents More Willing to Pay Ransoms

For consumers, a key indicator of whether a ransom will be paid is if the victim is a parent: 55 percent of parents told IBM that they would pay to recover photos and contacts, while only 39 percent of non-parents would do so.

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Bitcoin is the Top Payment Method

While payment amounts can vary, the method of payment is consistent. Most ransomware campaigns require the use of bitcoin payments, which are more difficult for law enforcement to track.

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