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Ransomware is An Unsustainable Business Model

Written by Gerard Ward & Brian Cusack

Ransomware is An Unsustainable Business Model

Ransomware became the face of cybercrime in 2017 when waves of attacks rolled out across the world. Critical information structures became locked and unusable until the owners paid in Bitcoins for a key to unlock the files. At first it appeared the perfect crime where whole organisations had lost access to their vital information and the only way out was to comply with the crooks. However, events occurred where mitigation was found and by the end of 2017 Ransomware recovery services were advertising online to guarantee data recovery for a lesser fee. Organisations had also worked out that simple triangulated backup systems could also defeat Ransomware attacks at little extra cost. It became apparent that the extortionists were weakening and were prepared to negotiate lessor fees in order to gain some financial return on their folly. For what first appeared to be a dangerous and convincing cybercrime, a second glance suggests that it is an unsustainable business model with many weaknesses. In order to better understand the phenomena we spent 12 months studying the business processes and technologies associated with Ransomware and conclude that negative risk is still apparent for unprepared organisations but we predict within a period of time the crime will become ineffective.

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