- A staple of many types of ransomware is encryption.
- It encrypts files on victims’ devices so that they cannot be opened without a password.
Targeted ransomware attacks continue to help cybercriminals earn illicit money every day. A staple of many types of ransomware is encryption. It encrypts files on victims’ devices so that they cannot be opened without a password. To get this password, victims are required to pay a ransom to the attackers.
With no or few options left after a ransomware attack, several firms end up paying the asked ransom amount in order to retrieve their encrypted data. Here’s a look at how much the cybercriminals have/had managed to extract money using ransomware.
WannaCry ransomware - The ransomware which created devastating chaos in 150 countries in 2017 had made around $50,000 for its operators. Nearly three months after the attack, the same ransomware had enabled the hackers to withdraw more than $139,000 worth of bitcoins from three bitcoin wallets in a separate incident.
SamSam ransomware - Since the day it emerged in 2015, SamSam ransomware has amassed nearly $6 million in ransom payments for its operators. The ransomware family has targeted small and large businesses, healthcare, governments, and education. A vast majority of these targeted organizations were located in the US.
GandCrab ransomware - After operating a year and half, the operators behind the GandCrab ransomware planned to shut down its operation. They disclosed that they had generated over $2 billion in ransom payments, with average weekly payments of $2.5 million.
Sodinokibi ransomware - Security researchers tracked that the operators of Sodinokibi ransomware have pocketed at least $4.5 million to date. Based on a blockchain analysis, it was found that its creators received between $700 and $1,500 from every ransom payment.