Firms are stockpiling Bitcoin to pay ransoms

 In disruption

In another bizarre Bitcoin story, according to the Daily Telegraph, firms are “stockpiling Bitcoin” in order to be able to pay cyber-ransoms, should they be hit with another WanaCry type ransom.

Earlier this year, organisations such as the UK’s National Health Service, and global advertising firm WPP helpless for days due to their Windows-based PCs being infected with “ransomware” that had to be paid in virtually untraceable Bitcoin.

firms-stockpiling-bitcoin-to-pay-ransoms

My first reaction upon reading this story was: do people still pay cyber ransoms?

The first rule when dealing with a cyber-attack is to not pay the ransom, instead use software tools to remove the offending ransomware. 

Secondly, it is sad to read that companies are looking to mitigate their risks from a cyber attack by getting their hands on the ransom money in case they are attacked.

I have written extensively about the need to take online security seriously, by involving your staff in the “last mile” of cyber defences.

Criminals favour Bitcoin as the ransom currency of choice because it is much easier to hide their identity, and launder the proceeds, and now with the value of the currency skyrocketing, asking for just a few coins can be very lucrative.

Are you stockpiling Bitcoin ahead of an attack, or are you taking other more traditional countermeasures?

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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.