A new report by Trustwave reveals that certain types of hacking can yield an insane return on investment — to the tune of 1,425%.
Hackers are targeting two types of malware in 2014 to maximise how much they make: “Exploit kits” and “ransomware schemes.”
Exploit kits typically deliver malware through the victim’s web browser, while ransomware schemes encrypt files on a victim’s computer, and only decrypt them when they pay up. The average return seen by attackers using these kinds of malware was $US84,100 on an investment of only $US5,900.
Ransomware is evolving fast, and most cyber criminals are getting really good at making the downloads that house the malware appear benign to the average user. One particularly virulent strain of ransomware is called CDT-Locker, which can hide files so well even security software can’t find it.
And even if you pay up, that doesn’t always mean you’ll get your files back. “We have seen many scenarios where even if the user pays, they don’t get the recovery keys,” Steve Grobman, CTO of Intel’s Security Group, told Business Insider. “So it’s one of the reasons we tell our customers that paying the ransom is not the best course of action.”
The Trustwave study pulled from 574 breach investigations the SpiderLabs team conducted to put together a comprehensive picture of 2014 trends.
The report also found a 14% increase in hackers targeting payment card data over 2013, which was sought almost half the time. Victims were usually unaware they had even been compromised, and 81% of them did not detect the security breach themselves.
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