A Bitdefender global study with respondents from the UK, the US, France, Germany, Denmark and Romania was conducted by iSense Solutions to discover what motivates victims to pay ransoms and how much they value their data.
The study revealed that half of users cannot identify ransomware as a type of threat that prevents or limits access to computer data. Personal documents were the top priority for users to recover.
US users are the most sought-after targets for spam emails with 61.8 percent of all email distributed malware files containing some form of ransomware while the UK had 54.5 percent containing ransomware.
UK consumers would pay the most to retrieve files. Thirty one percent of users would pay £400 to recover their encrypted data. Forty four percent of victimised Brits have paid a ransom following an infection, and this number is predicted to rise in the years to come. Thirty nine percent of victims feel they will probably be attacked again in the future.
Over two thirds (67 percent) of respondents associated ransomware with a virus. Almost 34 percent of respondents found the top three most popular ransomware infection vectors as email messages containing computer viruses, files containing a virus, and visited websites that are hacked or have viruses.
Catalin Cosoi, chief security strategist at Bitdefender said, “The ransomware phenomenon has been hitting internet users and generating huge profit for cyber-criminals for years. While victims are usually inclined to pay the ransom, we encourage them not to engage in such actions as it only serves to financially support the malware's developers.”