Technology

Bitcoin is cheaper, good news for ransomware victims

The price of bitcoin has been falling for almost 6 months now. The news is not popular in the cryptocurrency industry, but it could be a boon for cybersecurity professionals.

We’ve known this for years: ransomware is the most common cyberattack. In the first six months of 2022 alone, researchers at SonicWall, a cybersecurity firm, recorded at least 236.1 million ransomware attack attempts.

However, this impressive figure is not a record and it is even a drop of 23% compared to the figures that were noted for the same period in 2021. And the reason, according to researchers, will be the fall in the price of bitcoin.

The price of bitcoin also affects cyberattacks. // Kanchanara / Unsplash

Ransomware will be less profitable

Ransomware, also known as ransomware, is malware that locks infected devices and encrypts all data stored on them. They can affect anyone, the computer equipment of hospitals or La Poste, the computers of large universities, as well as individuals. For victims, companies and individuals, the only way to find them very often is to pay a ransom – in most cases in cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies are widely used by cybercriminals for several reasons: they are anonymous, do not depend on banks, and transactions are carried out instantly. In addition, hackers can also use mixing protocols to increase their anonymity and be sure that no one identifies them. Thus, Bitcoin and other digital assets have many advantages for cybercriminals, except that their prices are now falling sharply, so the use of ransomware will no longer be as profitable.

crypto (8)The number of ransomware is decreasing. // Canvas

Between January and June 2022, the price of bitcoin fell from $46,000 to $17,000, a drop that took the price of all other cryptocurrencies with it. The researchers concluded that this downturn partly deterred cybercriminals who preferred attacks other than ransomware. It is possible that a sharp rise in the price of bitcoin will encourage a resurgence of ransomware attacks.

Sonic Wall says that the price of bitcoin is “constantly used as an indicator of the amount of ransomware attacks,” although other variables come into play. The Sonic Wall report also talks about improvements in device security, or even increased police action against cybercrime, to explain this sudden drop. In 2021, a massive attack on the US Colonial Pipeline prompted the FBI to form a team dedicated to fighting ransomware.

However, ransomware is only a fraction of all cyberattacks, and unfortunately Sonic Wall shows that the total number of attacks reported since the beginning of the year has increased by 11%. Statistics that show that digital hygiene is needed more than ever.

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