Bitcoin is cheaper, good news for ransomware victims

Bitcoin price has been falling for almost 6 months. The news is not popular in the cryptocurrency industry, but it could be a boon for cybersecurity specialists.

We have known it for a few years now: ransomware is the most widespread cyberattack. For the first six months of 2022 alone, no less than 236.1 million ransomware attack attempts have been listed by researchers at SonicWall, a firm specializing in cybersecurity.

However, this impressive figure is not a record, and it is even a drop of 23% compared to the figures which had been noted at the same period in 2021. And the cause, according to the researchers, would be the falling bitcoin price.

The price of bitcoin also has an impact on cyberattacks. // Source: Kanchanara / Unsplash

Ransomware would be less profitable

Ransomware, also known as ransomware, is malicious programs that block infected devices and encrypt all data stored on them. They can affect everyone, the computer equipment of hospitals or that of La Poste, the computers of large universities as well as those of individuals. For victims, companies and individuals, the only way to find them is, very often, to pay a ransom – in most cases, in crypto-currencies.

Cryptocurrencies are widely used by cybercriminals for several reasons: they are anonymous, they do not depend on banks, and transactions are immediate. In addition, hackers can also use mixer protocols to enhance their anonymity, and be sure not to be identified. Bitcoin and other digital assets therefore have many advantages for cybercriminals — except that right now their prices are plummeting, so exploiting ransomware would no longer be as profitable.

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The number of ransomware is decreasing. // Source: Canva

Between January and June 2022, the price of bitcoin fell from $46,000 to $17,000, a drop that took the prices of all other cryptocurrencies with it. The researchers concluded that this downturn partly repelled the cybercriminals, who favored other attacks than the ransom one. It is quite possible that a sharp increase in bitcoin prices would encourage the resumption of ransomware attacks.

Sonic Wall indicates that the price of bitcoin “ has regularly served as an indicator of the quantity of ransomware attacks even if other variables are taken into account. The Sonic Wall report also talks about the improvement in device security, or even the strengthening of the fight against cybercrime on the part of the police forces to explain this sudden drop. In 2021, the huge attack on Colonial Pipeline, in the United States, prompted the FBI to form a team specializing in the fight against ransomware.

Ransomware, however, is only a fraction of all cyberattacks — and unfortunately Sonic Wall reveals that the total number of attacks recorded since the start of the year has increased by 11%. A statistic that shows that it is necessary, more than ever, to have good digital hygiene.

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Source: TM & Fox

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