Bitcoin ransomware threats are once again making the headlines these days. Albeit they are now popular than screen-blocker ransomware, this is not news to be proud of by any means. Malware used on such a large scale will continue to give Bitcoin a bad reputation, even though the cryptocurrency is not at fault for these problems.
Also read: Large-Scale Phishing Attack Targets Bitcoin and Web Wallet Users
There is nothing more annoying than dealing with malware that locks users out of their own computers or networks. Bitcoin ransomware has targeted individual users, enterprises, and health care networks over the past few years. Despite best efforts by security researchers, it is tough to remain one step ahead of Internet criminals.
The Evolution of Malware
Kaspersky Lab has issued a new report detailing the rise in popularity of Bitcoin ransomware. While it is evident more malware solutions are being sold on the deep web than ever before, there are other indicators as well. The rise of malware-as-a-service, for example, makes it easier for internet criminals to get involved in the ransomware industry.
The report makes a clear distinction between ransomware and screen-blocker malware. While both types of malicious software result in similar experiences, they are not the same. As it turns out, the number of people suffering Bitcoin ransomware attacks has increased by 17.7%. To put this into perspective, these numbers compare April 2015- March 2016 to April 2014 – March 2015.
But that is not the most disconcerting trend. It turns out Bitcoin ransomware has become more popular in spectacular fashion. Infection numbers rose from 6.6% in 2014 to 31.6% in 2015-2016. On the other hand, screen-locker infections are on the decline by over 10% in the same period.
Bitcoin Ransomware Versatility
The Kaspersky Lab report mentions how ransomware has gone through evolution. In fact, is is very well possible Bitcoin ransomware is the logical progression from screen blockers. Moreover, we have seen how ransomware developers are becoming more crafty in evading detection. Plus, new types of features are being added to this kind of malware at all times, including the ability to execute DDoS attacks.
It comes as no surprise to find out CryptoWall and TeslaCrypt are the primary source of Bitcoin ransomware infections. Interestingly enough, TeslaCrypt will no longer be an issue, as the developers threw in the towel earlier this year. CTB-Locker and Scatter are two strains of malware to keep an eye on moving forward, though.
What are your thoughts on this new report by Kaspersky Lab? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Kaspersky Lab, Shutterstock