Ransomware and Bitcoin are almost two peas in a pod. There have been numerous media reports regarding Bitcoin ransomware over the years. A new study by Canadian and Australian researchers shows this correlation is vastly blown out of proportion While there are Bitcoin-oriented ransomware strains, their impact on our society remains fairly limited so far.
Everyone has heard of malicious software forcing victims to pay a sum in Bitcoin. In most cases, this pertains to software encrypting files on one’s computer or mobile device. Known as ransomware, this malicious threat is seemingly more present than ever That is, assuming one believes all of the media reports pertaining to this topic.
Ransomware Makes no Real Impact
The Ransomware Payments in the Bitcoin Ecosystem study tells a different story. More specifically, there is no noteworthy economic impact due to ransomware schemes. This is in stark contrast to the media headlines we have seen in the past two to three years. Mainstream media outlets make it appear as if Bitcoin ransomware is always lurking in the shadows, even though that is far from the case.
To be more precise, the amount of money made from ransomware is fairly limited. There is no factual evidence to prove criminals make millions in Bitcoin from their creations. Not entirely surprising, as the transparent nature of Bitcoin makes it easier to trace payments. That doesn’t mean criminals will stop creating Bitcoin ransomware, though. It is still a popular business, albeit less successful than assumed.
It will be interesting to see how this situation evolves. Criminals have taken a shine to Bitcoin due to its erroneously perceived anonymity. The technology itself makes it very easy to identify and trace any suspicious activity on the network in real time. Bitcoin is not suited as a payment method for criminal activity. This is no different when it comes to malicious software.
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