Facing cyber blackmail? Don't pay a king's ransom

The growing scourges of ransomware and DDoS threats scare many victims into paying up. The only way to stop the madness is to refuse to succumb when possible

Facing cyber blackmail? Don't pay a king's ransom
Jamie Eckle/IDG

When your business is under fire and a ransom is on the table, it's tempting to pay and make the criminals go away. But how do you know they'll fulfill their part of the bargain? Even if they do, you've made yourself complicit in a growing criminal enterprise.

Demands to pay up or endure the consequences come in many varieties. It may be a promise not to out the victim for using a questionable service, or not to dump data files stolen from corporate servers. More often, though, the threat is delivered via ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts user files and makes the encrypted data useless until ransom is paid -- in amounts generally ranging from $200 to $10,000.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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