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Don't pay ransoms. But if you must, here's where to buy the Bitcoins

Maria Korolov | April 5, 2017
If you're hit by ransomware and you have to pay the ransom -- what do you do?

One company doing that is Cyence, a cyber risk modeling company.

"Based upon Cyence’s analysis of the ledger of bitcoin transactions and traffic to known ransomware servers, we estimate that approximately 9 percent of Bitcoin transaction value is attributable to ransomware or some other form of cyber extortion payment," said Phil Rosace, Cyence's solutions manager.

Cyence has also seen an uptick of Bitcoin use, and a possible correlation with sectors hit by ransomware payments.

Another way to come up with an estimate is to look at the estimates of the total amount spent on ransomware payments, and compare it to the total Bitcoin market value, which passed $12 billion last year.

"The total ransom payments in 2016 was about $1 billion, which I think is a conservative estimation," said Barak. "Almost all of it paid in bitcoin."

That means that ransomware accounts for about 8 percent, he said. "It's a pretty big chunk of the Bitcoin economy," he said.


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