Europol: Ransomware now top cybercrime threat

European police agency Europol says the threat from ransomware has now eclipsed other forms of online theft, a sign of how quickly the computer-scrambling software has found favor in the electronic underworld.

Ransomware typically works by taking computers hostage, encrypting the files on victims' hard drives until they cough up the money demanded to unscramble the data. Criminals often demand payment in the electronic currency Bitcoin.

Hospitals, and even the world over have fallen victim to the scam, which is usually spread through booby trapped links or attachments. More recently, researchers are warning of a new, self-propagating strain of ransomware that can spread without .

In a report released Wednesday, Europol said ransomware was "overshadowing traditional malware threats."

___

Online:

Europol's report: www.europol.europa.eu/content/ … ssessment-iocta-2016


Explore further

Police, cyber firms tackle 'ransomware' hacking threat

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: Europol: Ransomware now top cybercrime threat (2016, September 28) retrieved 22 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-europol-ransomware-cybercrime-threat.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
10 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more