It’s a topic that feels unbelievable – the thriving industry of ransomware attacks. As with any business or market, when thieves are targeting their next victim, they take the time to consider the price/ransom they are charging, to be in line with the cost of the solution and the current market - and still make a profit. It’s astounding how this behaviour has produced a serious, billion dollar industry.

And here’s the worst fact of it all: ransomware thieves don’t actually do what they say after you pay.  And they keep coming back to continuously extort their victims.  We’ve been predicting this type of behaviour by cyber criminals for years; but now it’s corroborated by a well-respected tech journal.

Forbes shares the experience IoT systems manufacturer Advantech had in August 2020, where they suffered a ransomware attack that resulted in a confidential data leak, through a data leak site that the thieves created for their “business”. Through this technique, the attackers can actually double-extort their victims: once for the decryption key and again for the assurance that the attackers no longer have a copy of their unencrypted data.

But it doesn’t end there – some attackers will create fake data to make the victims think their data has been destroyed after they paid the ransom, so that they can return to extort them over and over again. Considering ransom fees can be in the millions and the world is becoming increasingly digital especially in the last year, this is a serious danger to businesses.