On Thursday March 2nd, 2017, for the first time, Bitcoin exceeded the value of an ounce of gold. Bitcoin closed at $1,268 per coin while an ounce of gold closed at $1,233. Bitcoin is a type of digital currency where transactions occur with no middle-man (banks). Bitcoin allows you to make anonymous purchases that are beyond to normal scope of government control. It also does not charge for transaction fees which makes buying products internationally easy and cheap. Earlier this year, Chinese authorities cracked down on Bitcoin trading due to a large amount of money flowing out of their country illegally.

Bitcoin is used on the dark web for purchasing illegal items and also in Ransomware. Ransomware is a malicious software that encrypts your computer files, and then the hacker demands payment in Bitcoin to restore those encrypted files. Over the past few years, there has been an increase in ransomware attacks mainly due to a large generation of point-and-click softwares sold in the cybercrime underground such as Philadelphia and Cerber. One ransomware strain, Locky, made headline news last year when it was used to extort Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Southern California for about $17,000. The hospital lost complete access to its sensitive electronic medical records system for 10 days and was forced to pay the ransom in order to restore their files.

Now, with the cost of Bitcoin outweighing that of gold, the impact of ransomware is increasing. Stay protected while you’re surfing around on web by not clicking anything that seems suspicious. Also, ensure that all critical files are backed-up and that the back-up is stored in a secure location, safe from a ransomware infection.  For more information regarding ransomware or Bitcoin, feel free to contact a certified GraVoc employee below.

 

The Cost of Ransomware On the Rise

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