Note from the CEO: A rainy day (or, ransomware day) slush fund of bitcoin, or digital currency, to be able to pay off “bad guys”. Cheaper and easier to just pay off ransomware bandits than fight and have bad publicity hit the news, banks (probably others too) are stockpiling bitcoins to have anonymous ways to “pay off” the bandits. Just wondering, would this actually encourage ransomeware? Crime does pay?
It is nothing new that the cryptocurrency bitcoin has been used regularly in ransomware attacks as a means for hackers to secure anonymous payments from their targets. What is new, however, is that major banks have now started to stockpile bitcoin in order to mitigate potential future ransomware attacks by cyber criminals. Many businesses have concluded that it is simply cheaper to pay the ransom as opposed to dealing with the financial and reputational consequences of a security breach or loss of data.
Ransomware, which refers to malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or data until a ransom has been paid, has been around since the 1980s. However, ransomware attacks have increased substantially in recent years and are expected to increase as encryption software has improved as well as due to the increasing popularity of pseudonymous cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, which facilitate ransom payments for hackers.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, ransomware attacks in the United States average 4,000 a day, while the ransoms usually range anywhere between $500 to $1,000, according to cybersecurity firm Cyence…..
Banks are not the only businesses preparing for cyber-attack using bitcoin. Citrix and Consensuswide found in a survey that one in three UK companies have started to stockpile digital currencies, including bitcoin, in order to pay for potential future ransomware attacks……