Ransomware has become lucrative business, that much we suspected. Now Google has come up with figures which confirm that suspicion. It announced today that criminals have earned a minimum of $25 million over the last 2 years.
Ransomware is pernicious software that locks and encrypts computer files so they are no longer accessible to users. The files are only decrypted after victims have paid a ransom.
Yesterday, Dutch police stated that the international No More Ransom project has helped 28,000 people to unlock their computer after it was hit by ransomware. The No More Ransom website offers free decryption tools to victims. However, there’s not a key available for every version of hostage software.
In addition, Google warns that ransomware “is here to stay”. A spokesperson said all signs are that this type of crime is unlikely to disappear any time soon.
Several experts recommend backing up your files and storing them on an external hard drive. Anyone who gets hit can then restore their files after cleaning their computer.