Australians are the number one target for ransomware in the southern hemisphere, and number nine in the world, according to a new Symantec report.
Symantec says that online crime has become so sophisticated now that illegal hackers now have support hotlines and a structured working week with hours and weekends off.
Australia in particular has become a hotspot for hackers recently due to its high disposable income, a “she’ll-be-right attitude” and laidback attitude to computer security.
In the last year, ransomware has become by far the biggest internet threat and has skyrocketed 141% in Australia over the year before. Stolen online accounts are a close second.
Ransomware works by a hacker gaining control of a person’s computer, phone or online account, encrypting their information and then demanding a ransom for access to it again.
Typically, the hacker prices ransoms at around 1 or 2 Bitcoins, so anywhere between $550-$1100. Transactions over Bitcoin are essential, as the transaction isn’t traceable.
Some hackers are taking it even further, where when the victim contacts them to arrange the payment of the ransom, a banking trojan will be placed to also steal bank account details, hitting them twice.
If the hackers then don’t take money from the account or credit card details they steal, they place it on the black market for people to buy. Thousands of stolen credit card details are currently available to buy for as little as $40.
Netflix accounts are also a big seller on the black market, with accounts selling for just 25c. Often these will be sold in bundles, where pirates will set up a network and sell access to it for around $1 a month.