What does bitcoin and other cryptocurrency have to do with the rise of ransomware?

The rise of crypocurrencies like bitcoin has made it easy for cyber criminals to secretly receive payments extorted with this type of malware, without the risk of the authorities being able to identify the perpetrators.

The secure, untraceable method of making payments – victims are asked to make a payment to a bitcoin address – makes it the perfect currency for criminals who want their financial activities to remain hidden.

Cyber-criminal gangs are constantly becoming more professional – many even offer customer service and help for victims who don’t know how to acquire or send bitcoin, because what’s the point of making ransom demands if users don’t know how to pay? Some organisations have even hoarded some of the cryptocurrency in case they get infected or their files are encrypted and have to pay in bitcoin in a hurry.