Cybereason Survey Finds More Than Half of the Citizens in the United States Have Never Heard of Ransomware

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A survey by Cybereason of consumers finds that the majority aren't aware of ransomware and don't realize ransomware attacks reached epidemic stages in 2016.

On the heels of its successful launch of RansomFree, the free anti-ransomware product that blocks 99 percent of ransomware variants from encrypting files, Cybereason today released the results of its first consumer ransomware survey. In 2016, nearly 10 percent of consumers fell victim to a ransomware attack. The average ransom paid by victims to regain access to their files was $500. And 52 percent of survey respondents haven’t heard of ransomware.

Ransomware has been around for more than a decade, but became an epidemic in 2016. The FBI estimates that consumers and businesses paid $1 billion in ransoms last year. Consumers, mom and pop businesses, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, state and local governments, law offices and municipal rail systems were all victimized.

Interesting Ransomware Survey Findings

  • Cybereason asked consumers what types of personal information they fear losing the most. Ranking first at 52 percent was credit card/social security numbers. Second at 31 percent was photos/videos. Third at 10 percent was tax/medical documents, followed by emails at 5 percent and art work at 2 percent.
  • If victimized by a ransomware attack, 41 percent of consumers said they wouldn’t pay the ransom because they didn’t think their files would be released upon payment. Sixteen percent of respondents wouldn’t pay because they thought the ransom was too expensive and 15 percent of respondents wouldn’t pay the ransom because they didn’t care if they lost their files.

“Not a day went by in 2016 without individual hackers or crime groups successfully launching ransomware attacks, and it’s safe to say that more of these attacks will occur in 2017,” said Uri Sternfeld, senior security researcher, Cybereason. "The increased frequency of ransomware attacks makes it imperative for consumers and businesses to fortify their defenses. Without appropriate file backup and ransomware protection, people risk losing data like pictures, documents, financial reports and academic work.”

Cybereason RansomFree, a free anti-ransomware software, was designed to protect PCs running Windows 7, 8, 10, as well as Windows Server 2010 R2 and 2008 R2. RansomFree uses behavioral and proprietary deception techniques to target the core behaviors typical in ransomware attacks. Unlike traditional antivirus solutions, RansomFree does not rely on malware signatures, enabling it to target a broad variety of advanced ransomware strains, including fileless ransomware. Once RansomFree detects ransomware attempting to encrypt files, it immediately stops the process. To learn more about RansomFree and download the product, visit:

About Cybereason:
Founded by members of the Israeli intelligence agency’s elite cybersecurity Unit 8200, the Cybereason platform mirrors the founders’ expertise in managing some of world’s most complex hacking operations. The Cybereason Detection and Response Platform leverages big data, behavioral analytics and machine learning to uncover, in real-time, complex cyber attacks designed to evade traditional defenses. It automates the investigation process, connects isolated malicious events and visually presents a full malicious operation. The platform is available as an on-premise solution or a cloud-based service. Cybereason is privately held and headquartered in Boston with offices in Tel Aviv, Tokyo and London.

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For more information, contact:
Bill Keeler
Director, Public Relations
(508) 414-7755 (cell)

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Bill Keeler
Cybereason Inc.
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