Ransomware: What REALLY happens if you pay the crooks?

Ransomware malware wannacry symbol cyber attack concept computer infection infographic. Vector illustration with 3D flat isometric realistic detailed people

By: Paul Ducklin

Governments and law enforcement hate it when ransomware victims pay the blackmail demands that almost always follow a ransomware attack, and you can understand why, given that today’s payments fund tomorrow’s cybercriminality.

Of course, no one needs to be told that.

Paying up hurts in any number of ways, whether you feel that hurt in your head, in your heart, or even just in the pit of your stomach.

I was happy to pay up for a job well done,” said no ransomware victim ever.

However, it’s easy for people who aren’t looking down the wrong end of the cybercrime barrel to say, “You should never, ever pay. You should let your entire business implode, and let everyone in the company lose their job, because that’s just the price of failure.

So, if your back’s against the wall and you DO pay up in the hope that you’ll be able to restart a business that has ground to a total halt…

…how well will it all go?

We’ll give you a clue by sharing a key slide from the talk:

As you can see, paying up often doesn’t work out very well anyway, even if you have no ethical qualms about doing so, and enough money burning a hole in your pocket to pay without flinching.

And remember that if you lose 1/3 of your data, like 1/2 of our respondents said they did, you don’t get to choose which computers will decrypt OK and which will fail.

Murphy’s law warns you that the laptops you could have re-imaged easily enough will probably decrypt just fine, while those servers you really meant to backup, but didn’t… probably won’t.

This report gives some fascinating insights into which countries and industry sectors are most at risk (spoiler alert, everywhere, and everyone):

Original Source: https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2021/06/22/ransomware-what-really-happens-if-you-pay-the-crooks/