Pay us bitcoin or never see your files again: Inside the highly profitable underworld of ransomware

In wake of an attack on computers at Colorado’s DOT, experts at Webroot shed light on ransomware

The article refers to research by Damon McCoy, professor of computer science and engineering at NYU Tandon.
… Hackers use ransomware to encrypt computer files, making them unreadable without a secret key, and then demand digital currency like bitcoin if victims want the files back — and many victims are falling for that promise. … Ransomware infects more than 100,000 computers around the world every day. … A study by researchers at Google, Chainalysis, University of California San Diego and NYU Tandon School of Engineering estimated that from 2016 to mid 2017, victims paid $25 million in ransom to get files back.

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