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Ransomware Payments In Cryptocurrency Surge 89% In First Quarter

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Criminals are increasingly relying on business models such as malware and ransomware to make money. This is despite security researchers taking several steps to ensure that such attacks are not profitable.

According to a report by Coveware, the average daily ransom being paid in cryptocurrency to attackers surged 89 percent to $12,762 in the first quarter of 2019 from $6,733 in the preceding fourth quarter of 2018. The increase was aided by ransomware like Bitpaymer, lencrypt and Ryuk.

Bitcoin remained the most preferred cryptocurrency for ransomware payments, accounting for 98 percent.

According to the report, ransomware Ryuk gained significant market share in the first quarter. Ryuk targets larger organizations that have the financial ability to pay larger demands.

Ryuk's market share in the first quarter was 18 percent, putting it in third place behind the most prevalent ransomwares such as Dharma and GrandCrab.

Dharma stood in first position among ransomwares with a market share of 27.8 percent, followed by GrandCrab with 20 percent market share.

The average ransom amount demanded by Ryuk was about $288,000 per attack, compared to less than $10,000 per attack demanded by other ransomwares.

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