33% UK Companies Keeping Bitcoin To Pay Future Ransomware Hackers
Citrix, a remote access developer, conducted a survey on cyber-security. About 250 British IT and cyber-security professionals participated in the survey. The poll questioned their readiness for Cyber-crime and it is interesting to note that 33% of them said that they were maintaining Bitcoin reserves to pay their ransomware hackers.
What does ransomware mean? You access your computer and find that all your folders and files are encrypted and you practically are about to lose your entire data. Ransonware is an online cyber-crime by which your files in your computer will be hacked and locked. You then get a prompt to pay the hackers a certain value of bitcoins to a particular blockchain/bitcoin account in order to give you full access to your files in your computer.
Of course, there is a timer ticking before which the entire transaction has to happen. Some of these hackers are so systematic that they even offer call center services to the provide support in transferring bitcoins. They even help you in identifying a Bitcoin exchange in the vicinity.
So how many such companies maintain such bitcoin reserves? Here are some statistics from the survey conducted by Citirx. About 36% of small companies (250-500 employees) and 57% of medium-sized companies (companies with 501-1000 employees) store cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. About 18% of large companies (companies with more than 2000 staff members) maintain a Bitcoin reserve to pay off hackers.
It has also been revealed that these large companies are willing to spend up to £50,000 to the hackers to unlock important files, folders and other intellectual properties.
Let us look at some interesting questions the poll results have raised. Why should companies really get into the situation of paying off ransomware? Won’t this encourage the hackers to perform similar hacks in the future? Why don’t companies strengthen their security systems and ensure that their computers are hack-free? Or better, why don’t companies get insurance plan against hackers? This seems better than encouraging hackers by paying off ransom.