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PayPal Wins Patent For Crypto Malware Detecting Technology

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PayPal has won patent for a technology that could help the online payments giant detect a type of cryptocurrency malware and mitigate its effects.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officially granted the patent to Paypal on April 16, more than 2 years after the company applied for it.

"By detecting that ransomware is operating on a computer (e.g. by correlating between the original data and content in different cache layers), the negative effects of the ransomware may be mitigated or avoided," the patent says.

Ransomware can encrypt the contents of a hard drive or other networked files and make it inaccessible for system users, who lack decryption keys, will no longer be able to readily access their data.

PayPal is looking to prevent such a risk with a method involving detecting a first copy of original content that has been loaded into a cache of a computer system, retaining in it a second copy of that file and comparing the two to determine if the altered content represents an encrypted version of the original content. It then prevents the original content from being deleted if the altered content has been encrypted.

Crypto ransomware has become a growing menace for cryptocurrency exchanges.

The average cryptocurrency payout for ransomware attacks rose by a dramatic 90 percent in the first quarter of this year, a recent report said.

This huge increase reflects increased infections of more expensive types of ransomware, which are predominantly used in attacks targeting larger enterprises.

Companies that pay huge ransom receive a working decryption tool, and they manage to recover encrypted data.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice, many of the crypto ransomware attacks in recent years were traced to Iran.

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