Back in May, the WannaCry ransomware virus was launched and spread to infect more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries. Without a doubt, the cyber criminals responsible were anticipating a massive payday. They were demanding roughly $300 – $600 in bitcoins from each victim in order to release their data. But, according to a recent article on nakedsecurity.com, there simply weren’t many victims willing to fork over the ransom.

As the article stated, “To the likely surprise of the crooks, most WannaCry victims refused to pay, so that the crooks’ bitcoin wallets were plump but not bulging, topping out at about $150,000 by the end of the malware outbreak.”

(https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2017/08/05/wannacry-crooks-cash-out-their-ransom/)

Apparently just over 300 people met the criminals’ demands. Even more interesting is that the crooks may never get their hands on the money. That’s because bitcoin accounts, while somewhat anonymous can be traced once they are connected to an event such as the WannaCry ransomware attack. It’s pretty easy to track how much money is coming in and going out of an account, even though the account holder is unknown. And anyone can do it.

The crooks know that too, so they started converting their bitcoins to Monero, another cryptocurrency. However, according to the nakedsecurity.com article, even though Monero keeps the sending and receiving address of each transaction secret, they have blocked the addresses used by WannaCry and are engaged in assisting law enforcement.

This is good news for the current and future victims of ransomware attacks. In the meantime make sure you have the most effective measures against any future cyber attacks. Call our offices for a free consultation.

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