Ransomware victims are paying up. But the crooks are coming back for more

Many organisations that fall prey to ransomware attacks end up paying a ransom multiple times as cyber criminals exploit weaknesses in cybersecurity to squeeze their victims for as much cash as they can. 

According to analysis by cybersecurity researchers at Proofpoint, 58% of organisations infected with ransomware paid a ransom to cyber criminals for the decryption key – and in many cases, they paid up more than once. 

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Law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity experts warn organisations against paying ransoms, because not only is there no guarantee that the supplied decryption key will work, giving in to ransom demands just encourages more ransomware attacks as it shows cyber criminals that the attacks work.

SEE: Cybersecurity: Let’s get tactical (ZDNet special report)

Of those who paid the ransom, just over half – 54% – regained access to data and systems after the first payment. But another third of ransomware victims ended up paying an additional ransom demand before they received the decryption key, while a further 10% also received additional ransom demands but refused the additional payment, walking away without their data. 

In 4% of cases, organisations paid a ransom or ransoms but still couldn’t retrieve their data, either because

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