In its annual report on Internet security threats, security company Sophos found that there were roughly 12,000 ransomware victims being hit by the scam each week in 2012. Ransomware programs lock up a user’s computer so that none of the programs are useable. The ransomware flashes a message stating that a certain amount mush be paid in order to release the programs.
It was previously reported that online criminal gangs were making up to $5 Million per year from ransomware.
In addition to ransomware, security researchers saw about 250,000 different types of malware streaming across the Internet each day.
Source: Mark Ward, “Ransomware creation kit ‘sought by cyber-thieves’,” BBC News, December 10, 2013.
Full report: Security Threat Report 2014: Smarter, Shadier, Stealthier Malware,” Sophos, December 2013.