A third of Brits would cough up £300 to ransomware peddlers

Desperate times push ordinary Brits into taking desperate measures

More than four in 10 ransomware victims in the UK have paid to recover their documents, with 31 per cent of users willing to pay up to £400.

A poll of 500 found 44 per cent of all ransomware victims in the UK have paid to regain access to their data. Two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents had correctly associated ransomware with a virus and 44 per cent had accurately identified ransomware as a type of threat that prevents or limits access to computer data.

Almost 34 per cent of respondents had identified the top three most common ransomware infection vectors as email messages that contain computer viruses, files that contain a virus, or visiting hacked website loaded with malicious code.

The findings come from an online survey of ransomware victims by security firm Bitdefender, run by iSense Solution. The UK end of the survey involved 500 “interviews” out of a sample of 1,906 respondents. Other countries covered include the US, France, Germany, Denmark, and Romania.

The results of the study have been put together in a white paper, entitled Ransomware, A victim’s Perspective, available here (pdf).

Catalin Cosoi, chief security strategist at Bitdefender, commented: “The ransomware phenomenon has been hitting internet users and generating huge profit for cybercriminals for years. While victims are usually inclined to pay the ransom, we encourage them not to engage in such actions as it only serves to financially support the malware’s developers. Instead, coupling a security solution with minimum online vigilance could help prevent any unwanted ransomware infection.” ®

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