Businesses Ready To Pay Bitcoin Ransoms


A U.K. corporate networking firm has found some intriguing patterns emerging among corporations as the risk of cybercrime grows. Researchers at Citrix this month found evidence that businesses are shoring up reserves of bitcoin so they can pay ransoms as quickly as possible should they be hit with ransomware.

The research emerges following several high-profile ransomware attacks on businesses in which the firms have decided to pay the ransom – in bitcoin – in order to regain control of their systems.

Earlier this year, multiple hospitals were hit with such a cyber attack; one hospital in Los Angeles paid out $17,000 in bitcoin to hackers, reports said, following reports of a similar attack hitting a town’s local government entities.

A survey by Citrix suggests businesses are reacting to these events by stockpiling bitcoins. The company surveyed 250 IT and security professionals across U.K. businesses – one-third said they were shoring up bitcoin in case of a ransomware attack, according to reports.

The survey also revealed other concerns regarding corporate cybersecurity measures. Nearly half of those questioned said their companies do not back up data at least once a day. Cybersecurity experts say data backups can be an effective deterrent against ransomware attacks.

Reports did note, however, that the survey pool was small, and that companies acknowledging that they have bitcoin ready to use in case of a cyber attack could potentially attract a ransomware attack.