Only a quarter of Ransomware victims have all their data returned: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on April 13, 2021

For 17 per cent of consumers, paying the ransom did not guarantee return of stolen data

While over a half of ransomware victims paid ransom to restore access to their data, only a quarter had their full data returned, according to a study by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

According to a global study of 15,000 consumers conducted by Kaspersky, 56 per cent of ransomware victims paid the ransom to restore access to their data last year. However, for 17 per cent of those, paying the ransom did not guarantee the return of stolen data.

“Ransomware is a type of malware which criminals use to extort money. It holds data to ransom using encryption or by locking users out of their devices,” explained Kaspersky.

According to the report, whether or not the victims paid the ransom, only 29 per cent of them were able to restore all their encrypted or blocked files following a ransomware attack. While 50 per cent lost at least some files, 32 per cent lost a significant amount. Eighteen per cent of victims lost a small number of files. Meanwhile, 13 per cent who did experience such an incident, lost almost all their data.

Kaspersky’s report, ‘Consumer appetite versus action: The state of data privacy amid growing digital dependency’, found that for 26 per cent of respondents, the estimated money loss was less than $100, but for 9 per cent, it was between $2,000 and $4,999.

The percentage of victims that paid the ransom to restore access to their data last year was highest among those aged 35-44; with two-thirds (65 per cent) admitting to paying. This compares to 52 per cent of those aged 16-24 and only 11 per cent of those over the age of 55, “showing that younger users are more likely to pay a ransom than those over 55,” the report said.

“This data shows we have seen a significant proportion of consumers paying a ransom for their data over the past 12 months. But handing over money doesn’t guarantee the return of data, and only encourages cybercriminals to continue the practice. Therefore, we always recommend that those affected by ransomware do not pay as that money supports this scheme to thrive,” said Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.

“Instead, consumers should make sure to invest in initial protection and security for their devices and regularly back up all data. This will make the attack itself less appealing or lucrative to cybercriminals, reducing the use of the practice, and presenting a safer future for web users,” Titova added.

The report also gauged awareness among consumers related to ransomware. According to the report, four-in-10 (39 per cent) of those surveyed claimed they were aware of ransomware over the past 12 months.

“It’s important that this number rises as remote working becomes more prolific,” Kaspersky said.

Published on April 13, 2021

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