Crypto’s collapse isn’t solving the ransomware problem
It’s going to take more than a months-long cryptocurrency free fall to squash the mounting ransomware problem, cyber incident responders and threat analysts tell Axios. Why it matters: Companies have been struggling to fight off an abundance of ransomware hackers in recent years, but recent optimism over a crypto-crash-fueled drop in attacks might be short-lived. During a ransomware attack, hackers gain access to a company’s network (often through phishing links in emails), infect them with malware that encrypts the entire organization’s files and then demand payment to unlock the system. Ransomware hackers typically specify payment in crypto to keep transactions anonymous and difficult to trace. State of play: Since November, the cryptocurrency market has lost at least $1 trillion in value. Some cybercrime experts and recent reports have been optimistic that the crash and increased U.S. government focus on the ransomware ecosystem could turn the tide against these attacks. The thinking goes, if crypto doesn’t have as much value, hackers might not get as much money and turn to other cybercrimes. Some researchers and analysts have also attributed a recent dip in ransomware attacks to the crypto decline.