Anti-malware firm, Kapersky Labs, has released some new data on a survey it conducted that suggests the average user that is hit by an encryption scam malware attack, will face losing around £255 worth of media – and that’s if they don’y pay. If they did, it could end up being far higher.
For those that don’t know, the encryption scam works like this. A piece of malware infects your machine and encrypts everything it can get its hands on. You then receive a message from the people responsible demanding a ransom. If you don’t pay, they threaten to withold the decryption key permanently. Of course if you do pay, there’s no guarantee that they will decrypt the files for you and you risk those demands going up or showing up again in the future.
While using credit card details might be more lucrative, some scammers choose bitcoin for payments because it’s harder to track. Source: PCRisk
According to the Kapersky research, these instances can cause as much as £408 of damage for younger users who are more likely to have collections of movies and music, let alone the damage to personal files like pictures, documents and videos that may never be replaced. While that age range had the highest average loss, geographical location plays a bit part too. China and Russia have on average £497 and £492 losses per person, far higher than the Euopean average of £140.
In advice to people worried about such threats, Kapersky of course recommends its own products, but also says: “In order to protect digital assets, users not only need to back up their data on a regular basis – they also need to secure their personal devices against malicious attacks designed to steal or extort data. Smartphones and tablets should also have additional tools to help locate a lost device or to mitigate the potential damages of device theft.”
KitGuru Says: Just another gentle reminder to keep yourself protected and backed up. Really guys, if you haven’t got your most precious information backed up somewhere that malware can’t hurt it, what are you thinking?