Bitcoin, the currency used in ransomware attacks, has been in the news a lot lately, fluctuating in its value and increasing in its popularity. This is part of the reason why hackers are starting to move on to other means of currency. Bitcoin has been the mainstay of ransomware transactions in recent years. Many US companies, including SMBs, have been held at the mercy of cyber criminals and forced to purchase bitcoin to make payment for their ransomed data.
Recently, (see zdnet.com) cyber criminals have been dropping their use of bitcoin, even while companies have stocked up on bitcoin to pay off criminals. There are various reasons for the recent drop in their use of bitcoin:
- Since bitcoin has a high value, even small fluctuations can alter its cost.
- Criminals worry that bitcoin’s anonymity isn’t all it’s supposed to be. There have been recent arrests when authorities have been able to trace the use of bitcoin.
- The increase in use of bitcoin by the general public has led to an increase in transaction fees and delays in trading. Even victims are less likely to pay a ransom if it will take days to process, meaning they experience days without use of their data anyway.
You will be hearing more about the use of alternative currencies or “altcoins.” The most popular is Menero, which comes with additional privacy and security that stops transactions from being traced back to its users. In other words, it is perfect for cyber criminals.
The bottom line is to keep updated and secure, because ransomware is not going away. Click here to a link on a post blog post on ransomware.