Most Petya Victims Aren’t Paying Up (So Far)

  • Grace Noto
  • June 28, 2017
  • 0

The latest ransomware virus that hit the globe may have been large in scope, but it wasn’t all that fruitful for the hackers.

The implementers of the virus have presently received only 45 payments, according to the transaction log of the bitcoin wallet where victims were directed to pay — an amount that comes out to just over $10,000.

Petya is operating in a similar vein to the WannCry virus that hit a few weeks back (the last WannaCry payment was one week ago, bringing the total earnings of those hackers to about $126,000).

Affected users see the red screen displayed below, with the message: “The harddisks of your computer have been encrypted with a military grade encryption algorithm. There is no way to restore your data without a special key.”

However, the $10,000 total score for the hackers means that very, very few of the victims have decided to pay the $300 ransom demanded—although that doesn’t mean cybersecurity experts are relaxing, as expressed on Twitter:

Granted, it has only been a day since the discovery of the virus—however, after reportedly originating in the Ukraine, Petya has currently spread to 64 additional countries around the globe, including France, Russia, and the United States.

The virus has also affected companies like the British advertising firm WPP and the real estate unit of French bank BNP Paribas.

Currently, the email address implemented by the Petya hackers has been shut down, which means victims of this particular strain of malware are somewhat unlikely to get their files back (even if they pay).

However, while ransomware attacks are increasing, a growing number of security officials and experts are urging victims simply not to pay—mainly because previous ransomware attacks have shown that victims are unlikely to get their files back.

Seems like victims are listening.

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