Ransomware attacks have grown increasingly more common in recent years and their impact shows in the wallets of victims. Those who have fallen prey to ransomware have paid more than $25 million in ransoms since 2014, a study found.
The data comes from researchers at Google; blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis; University of California, San Diego; and the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, who worked to follow cryptocurrency payments to find out just how much attackers have generated by holding files hostage.
The study looked at 34 separate families of ransomware to track down payments made by victims of the attacks. The researchers found most of the payments came from just a few strains of ransomware.
Locky ransomware, first discovered in 2016, was responsible for $7 million in payments on its own. The way Locky operates was unique at the time, as the people who create the malware are not necessarily the people who are infecting machines. The creators of Locky sold the malicious software to bad actors who can then carry out their own attacks with the ransomware.